Farming plays a special role in the Lake District, its identity and cultural heritage. A rugged landscape from which to carve a living, a potential World Heritage Site in 2017, and the prospect of the UK leaving the EU in 2019 - there are both challenges and opportunities for farming to help shape the future of the Lake District.
To help ensure farming continues to deliver high quality food and livestock in a world class cultural landscape that millions enjoy every year, the Lake District National Park and the National Trust are each seeking to recruit new Farming Officers, to work with farmers and farming communities across the area.
The roles will help develop and deliver practical projects with farmers, and strengthen relationships with the farming community. The Lake District National Park post will work with farmers across the whole of the Lake District while the National Trust post will focus on working with National Trust tenants, who farm some 20 percent of the area.
Head of Strategy and Partnerships for the Lake District National Park, Liam McAleese, said:
“Farming has a vital part to play in the future of the National Park. We recognise there is a wealth of experience and entrepreneurialism within the Lake District farming community and we want to tap into that to help us shape the future of the rural economy. We’re keen to hear from people with strong links to farming in the Lake District, and will consider applications for a range of flexible work patterns, it’s important we get the right person to work effectively with a range of farmers, farming groups and businesses.”
Mike Innerdale, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations for the Lake District, said:
“This is a natural progression to build on the common ground and relationships we have with our tenants who care passionately for these landscapes. There is a good foundation to build on, but also much work to do: developing shared objectives for the land, ensuring our tenants understand our ambitions and that we understand our tenants’ needs and aspirations. We are aware of the likely post Brexit impact on the farming businesses in the Lakes and the need to collaborate together, and with others to make the case for continue public support and funding to support the future of our traditional farming practices and way of life in the Lakes.”
The Farming Officers will work alongside the farming community, the National Park, the National Trust and other partners to identify and start to deliver practical actions that will benefit the farming sector, and progress actions in the Lake District’s Partnership management plan. This will include: