Much of the work of the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust involves working with farmers to integrate simple measures to improve water quality and stream habitat into farming practices. As a YDRT Project Officer I have a good understanding of how the river and its wildlife work, but having grown up in the suburbs of Middlesbrough I have a limited knowledge of how farms operate. So I’m off to spend three days on a Cumbrian farm to find out.
James Turner manages a large estate near Penrith. With dairy, sheep and arable its the perfect place to have a crash course in farming practices. I’ve been promised hard work, good food and baby animals but I’ll be there with the following questions in mind:
- What does the day-to-day operation of a farm business involve, for dairy, beef cows, sheep and arable?
- What challenges do farmers face?
- What are the barriers to adopting the measures that YDRT recommend?
- How can environmentally-sensitive practices benefit the farm business?