Two new posts at conservation charity the National Trust mean extra help and advice is available to support nature friendly farming.
The conservation charity owns approximately 20% of the Lake District National Park including 91 farms – most of which are fell farms with hill going flocks of sheep. The Trust also has a Landlord’s flock of 21,000 Herdwicks.
Chloe Lumsdon joins as Assistant Wildlife Adviser and brings a wealth of experience of upland habitat management working with farmers. Previously she was a Payment for Outcomes Project Ecologist in the Yorkshire Dales.
And Nicola Evans, who has been at Natural England Cumbria since 2004, is a new Assistant Farming Adviser. In addition to her skills, knowledge and practical experience, Nicola has a small conservation grazing enterprise using rare breed Fell Ponies, which she also breeds and sells as young ridden ponies.
Both roles will be focused on delivering change on the ground by supporting other National Trust staff and farm tenants. This includes improving the condition of soils, water and habitats across the Trust’s farmed land benefitting both nature and the viability of farming long term.
Speaking about her role, Chloe said: “It has been my dream to live and work in such an inspiring landscape so when I saw the chance to help protect and promote nature conservation in the North West, I jumped at the opportunity.
“I will be using my ecological skills and land management knowledge to help identify opportunities for making more space for nature across our land, working with our tenants.
“I am currently involved in a Cumbria Meadow Restoration Project working alongside Cumbria Wildlife Trust looking at meadow restoration on over 15 of our farms across the county. With our farmers I am looking at everything from soil chemistry to identifying grasses and wildflowers in the meadows. There will also be opportunities for the general public to get involved with plug planting days later on in the year,” added Chloe.
Farming is vital to the Trust’s approach to countryside management and the charity already works in partnership with many of its tenant farmers to deliver nature-rich, productive, landscapes which are good for wildlife and good for farming.