THE Prince’s Countryside Fund has allocated £100,000 to help Lakes and Dales farmers.
The charity announced a grant of £50,000 to promote the sustainability of Herdwick sheep and a similar amount to fund a two-year project to improve the businesses of Dales farmers.
Taste Cumbria will use the Herdwick cash to support members of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association, helping 50 businesses to tackle the problem of low farm incomes.
Meanwhile, South Lakes-based SAC Consulting will use its £50,000 funding to provide a two-year project to help farmers maximise their income by encouraging them to take stock of their holdings and supporting them in decision making.
Both grants are part part a £600,000 rural investment initiative by the Prince’s fund.
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James Hadwin, who is based in SAC’s office at the J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, said the Yorkshire Dales had some of the most diverse farmland in the UK and local upland livestock farms faced significant financial, environmental, legislative and logistical pressures.
The new Dales Farming Group project will provide 15 farms with detailed business reviews, looking at both financial and technical performance.
Interested farmers are being encouraged to attend a launch meeting in Hawes this autumn, details of which are yet to be revealed.
Mr Hadwin said the meeting would have a technical focus but will also provide farmers with an opportunity to learn more about the project and, if interested, sign up for a business review.
There will also be a number of drop-in clinics and open group events during the project to discuss the benchmark data from the group and look at new ideas and concepts, such as using Electronic Identification Data (EID) for flock and herd management.
Mr Hadwin, who will be undertaking the business reviews, said: “We hope the Dales Farming Group members will gain a better understanding of the business issues they face and have ideas about moving forward in a more sustainable way.”
To find out more, call SAC on 01539-0566226.