HERE is the latest farming diary written by Jasmine Holliday who is the Farming Officer Lake District National Park Authority.

The last month has been very exciting for the Lake District National Park farming team.

We have welcomed our new assistant farming officer, Eliza Hodgson to the role. Eliza is a local sheep and beef farmer, so her skills and knowledge are a great addition to the team.

While many of our farmers in the Lake District have been busy preparing for tupping time, it is our Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) grant that has kept our farming team occupied.

As we approach the midpoint of FiPL we are busy as ever working with farmers to fund projects across the Lake District.

Since receiving the money from Defra in August 2021 we have visited over 200 farms to discuss potential FiPL projects.

Around 70 of these have turned into actual projects, with many more in the pipeline before the end of March 2024.

It is very rewarding seeing the positive impact the grant has had so far. Ranging from small practical projects on farms, for example habitat creation such as riparian management strips, ponds and hedgerow restoration.

Or those projects that are building resilience through the agricultural transition, for example helping fit out a bakery at Crosbythwaite in Ulpha to expand their diversification.

We also have numerous projects where farmers are working together, the West Lakes Farmer-Led Nature Recovery CIC are a group of farmers working together to understand the value of their system, from environmental to heritage.

This will help them identify opportunities for nature recovery and carbon storage, as well as highlighting new income streams and diversification options. This is all whilst keeping our farming traditions and food production at the core of what they do.

Farming in Protected Landscapes has been a real success so far. I think this is because of the flexibility of the scheme, with the four themes of nature, climate, people & place allowing farmers to look at their farm holistically and decide what sort of project would be most useful.

It encourages collaboration and innovation whilst recognizing that there are small actions all farmers can be taking to deliver public goods and make their businesses more resilient.

We are still looking for small and achievable projects from farmers that can be completed before the end of March 2023.

To get in touch with the team please visit our website