Interest in farming life in the region appears to be on the increase if the success of two recent television shows is anything to go by.

Our Yorkshire Farm on Channel 5 continues to attract viewers. It features the engaging Owen family, who have a 2,000-acre working farm at Ravenseat, in Upper Swaledale, North Yorkshire, a short distance from Keld. 

Parents Amanda and Clive Owen have nine children and the series shows how all members of the family — from the youngest to the oldest — get stuck in helping around the farm.

Meanwhile, there has been huge interest in Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales, a documentary series for More 4, in which TV presenter Matt took viewers behind the scenes of his family farm, where he grew up in the Durham hills. The programmes showed how he supported his parents after his mum, Janice, suffered a serious injury and needed a knee replacement.

The series revealed how Matt helped to redesign various elements of the farm to make it easier to run. There was a nice section where he and his wife visited the Lake District to buy some Herdwick sheep.

Meanwhile, last week’s The Westmorland Gazette featured a heart-warming story about a successful lambing season at Yew Tree Farm, near Coniston. One ewe had given birth to triplets, but because it was a first-time mum and would eventually have struggled to feed all three, one of the lambs had been ‘adopted’ by another ewe, which had lost her lamb.

It’s a story that emphasises the resilience and ingenuity of both nature and local farmers.

It was also good to read that a long-awaited Southern District of Cumbria Young Farmers’ Clubs’ charity skydive was about to take place to raise funds for the YFC and the Calvert Trust. Young farmers are the future of farming.

Meanwhile, later this year Westmorland County Show will be held over two days for the first time to help spread visitor numbers following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farming is a crucial part of the local economy and farmers’ activities have shaped and continue to maintain the wonderful Lake District landscape.

It is heartening that there are some positive farming stories around and that interest in the industry is strong.