The future of land-based education at a Cumbrian farm will continue as a key purchase has been completed.
The Ernest Cook Trust stepped in with an offer to buy Low Beckside Farm – part of the now closed Newton Rigg agricultural college near Penrith – to ensure it would remain a learning resource as well as an upland sheep farm.
The trust, based in Gloucestershire, is a UK-wide educational charity, creating outdoor experiences for children, young people and their families.
A landowner in six counties, it runs education programmes on its own estates, as well as with partners’ estates, and offers grants for outdoor learning activities.
Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, chief executive of The Ernest Cook Trust, said: “We are delighted that our purchase of Low Beckside Farm is now complete.
“This is a first for us, farming in our own right, as the rest of the trust’s agricultural land is managed by our tenant farmers.
“We now have some important work to do in scoping the potential of the farm to serve as a learning resource while furthering our understanding of how to farm in a nature friendly way.
“In the meantime, the farm is already being used by students from Kendal College for level one land based studies.
“It’s great to have young people back on the farm again.”