15 June 2012

Farming Landscapes

Lake District Fells
Over the next few months many National Trust tenants and other farmers will be hosting farm walks to encourage people to be more informed about what they as farmers are doing and farming's relationship with the landscape and conservation.

This weekend will see many farms all over the country open their gates for "Open Farm Sunday" on the 17th June and the Friends of the Lake District are organising a series of events right across Cumbria over the summer called "Farming Landscapes".

  Working for the National Trust in the Lake District we can get a bit blase' about the landscape we work in but when talking to visitor, encountering a magnificent view as the cloud lifts or witnessing a fantastic sunset you realise what an amazing place it is to live and work in. But this magnificent  landscape didn't happen by accident, but is a combination of geology, natural habitats and human intervention to form what we see today.

The biggest impact in forming this rich mosaic of forms and colours has been the way farming over the last few thousand years has developed and adapted the landscape to produce what we see today. Other influences have also contributed over the centuries from mining and quarrying which led to many of the much used tracks and paths to the coppicing industries which used the woodland to produce the raw materials for the industrial revolution. Later the Victorians developed their large estates and brought in exotic trees and designed landscapes to further develop what nature and agriculture had produced before them.

Farm Walk
Last weekend myself and Richard hosted one of the "Farming Landscapes" walks on the land I rent from the Trust at Park-a-Moor. We looked at how I manage the farm land and how this works closely with how the Trust manages its woodland and the flora and fauna within it. We also looked at some of the industrial archaeology left by the charcoal burners and the monks who farmed the land and how their legacy is left in what we see today. We also looked at how current farming methods and the impacts of national and international events have such an effect on how farming is undertaken and the different choices currently available to farmers in the area.

If you wish to join a farm walk this Sunday and/or to find out more about farming in the area check out the following useful links:


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