Farming Diary by Katie Hunter, chartered surveyor at H&H Land & Estates and Dentdale farmer:

AS I write this month, it is following the coldest May Bank Holiday on record - something I am sure many of you will have felt disappointed with, especially noting the current social distancing requirements.

However, for many in the farming community, this weekend has come as a blessing as, with little or no grass for the livestock to eat, we have been desperate for the rain.

On the farm at home, we have spent the last few weeks medicating, marking and moving sheep with lambs at foot to further afield in order to give the land round the steading a well-deserved break and time to grow in anticipation for a fruitful haymaking and silaging season.



I am delighted to say we are nearly at the end of lambing, with only a handful of sheep and hoggs left to lamb. However, being that the tup was left with them until early February, they could be lingering on for some time!

It’s a similar position in the calving shed. With two of my favourite cows struggling to get into calf last year, they have slipped out of our block and are not due now to calve until October.

Today we are sending our first consignment of shearlings with twin lambs at foot to the auction, with high hopes that the strong market stays firm and the hard work over the last few months has paid off.

Here in the office at H&H Land & Estates it's very busy. With the recent Countryside Stewardship deadline having just passed, all attention is now turned to Basic Payment Scheme claims, which must be submitted by May 17. Despite the annual phased reduction which will take place between now and 2027, the claims themselves still require the same level of time, care and attention to compile and check before submission.

The estate and property agency has seen very strong demand for housing stock across the Lake District, with some strong offers coming in. However, this means housing coming onto the market is selling fast and we are in need of more stock to keep up with demand. As such, if you are considering selling your property, do call our office for a free market appraisal.