[T]oday (26 March) HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, attended the National Centre for the Uplands at Newton Rigg College to meet with staff, students, and beneficiaries of the Fund.
HRH visited the College’s state-of-the-art Sheep Husbandry Centre its hill farm, Low Beckside, Mungrisdale, to see how Cumbrian farmers are preparing themselves for the future.
Students demonstrated how they use the latest technology, such as how handheld scanners can record animal data, from the sheep’s ear tag number, to its weight and any health issues the animal may have. They also displayed more traditional skills, such as tagging lambs and sheepdog training.
HRH then joined in with a discussion as part of the Fund’s ‘Preparing for Transition’ activity. Cumbrian farmers who have been supported by the Fund were brought together to share how they planned to create businesses that were fit for future generations.
Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “Today has demonstrated the many diverse and important ways that farmers are preparing for the future. It was heartening to hear the conversation between local farmers on their aspirations and plans for their businesses.
“The Fund is committed to help bring farming families together in local networks to encourage these discussions, to create a thriving and resilient farming sector.”
Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive of Askham Bryan College said: “We were delighted to show The Prince of Wales the important work we are doing to inspire and equip agriculture’s future leaders and custodians of the countryside. For generations farmers have played a crucial role in providing the nation’s food, but also in caring for our landscapes and our College has played a key role in that. We are passionate about continuing that tradition and particularly to ensure our uplands remain a vibrant workplace as well as a picturesque asset.”
Newton Rigg College became part of Askham Bryan College in 2011 and is the only college in the country to own a hill farm.