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Farming Landscapes Project

farming landscapesFollowing the success of our 3 year Farming Landscapes project, Cumbria Farmer Network is working with Friends of the Lake District volunteers and farmers to arrange events in 2013. Details will be added as events are arranged - please keep checking back.

Farming Landscapes events 2014

Farming Landscapes Project is a partnership between Friends of the Lake District and the Cumbria Farmer Network. It aims to raise awareness of local produce and the link between farming, food and the landscape – what you see and what you eat. It involves about 15 farmers who give their time freely and around 8 volunteers each year. The volunteers work with farmers to organise and promote the walks, undertake training to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and make sure visitors' needs are met. The walks are very varied, ranging from large commercial farms that produce food to compete with world prices to small part-time farms that specialise and sell into niche markets. The walks are suitable for all ages (unless specified) and give a real insight into farming in Cumbria, with many farms in the programme only open to the public for these walks in the year.

Costs
The cost to go on the walks is free but we ask for donations, with a suggested level of £3 per adult and £5 per family. These charges are to cover the costs of training volunteers in risk assessments, first aid, their travel costs and promotion/coordination costs. Although we have funding for 2014, there is no guarantee this will be repeated.

Funding

The 2014 programme of events is funded by:

The Lake District National Park
AMW Environment Fund and the Crofton Trust Fund, through Cumbria Community Foundation

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See Stephen Lockwood's short film about the project here.

Event Info
Farming Landscapes' farm events are an opportunity to meet working farmers. It's their job to make a living from the landscape while looking after it so we can enjoy it too.

Many farmers encourage nature and wildlife on their land, as well as looking after animals. A farm event is a great way to  learn about this important work and see at first hand some of the ways that modern farmers are rising to today's challenges. Please read the event entry carefully to make sure you know what to expect from the event.

Booking an Event

Whether a booking is necessary is stated in the event listing.

What to expect at an event
Listings contain a 4-figure grid reference for the location of the event and postcodes for satnavs. Please bear in mind that satnavs are not always accurate in rural locations. Local signs will be erected near to the farm on the day. The start time of events is given in the listings. Typically events last about 2-3 hours and will be led by the farmer with the help of a volunteer. Walks are generally short (1-2 miles), over easy terrain with several stops to ask questions and see points of special interest. At some farms refreshments will be provided at the end of the event. Where the farm has a shop there will be an opportunity to buy produce at the end of the event.

Children
Children are welcome to attend events, although there will not always be activities especially targeted towards them. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cancellations
Under certain circumstances if, in the opinion of the leader, your safety or enjoyment may be compromised, it may be necessary to cancel or alter an event. Please check event details for who to contact regarding cancellations or any changed details before setting out.

Be Prepared
You are responsible for your needs during the event. Remember to bring sufficient food and drink. If you or anyone with you has a medical condition that might affect you on an event, please let the leader know at the start.

Weather
The weather in Cumbria can change suddenly and dramatically even in mid-summer. Remember to pack waterproof/windproof jacket and overtrousers, hat and gloves and spare warm clothing for all outdoor events. Wear suitable footwear, preferably walking boots with a good sole pattern. Don't forget sun cream and sun hats if it's sunny.

Farm events take place outdoors and on the working environment of a farm. Whilst every opportunity has been taken to ensure your safety on these events, the great outdoors is an unpredictable environment and your safety is ultimately your own responsibility. Participation at an event is at the discretion of the leader. Event leaders reserve the right to refuse you on an event if they feel you may compromise your own safety or that of others.

Wheel Friendly Events
Farms are working environments which are not necessarily suitable for pushchairs, wheelchair users and people of limited mobility. To confirm suitability of the event for limited mobility users check event details.

A special magazine celebrating Cumbria's farming landscapes has been produced as part of the Farming Landscapes Project. These are handed out at events but click here to download a copy to check it out.

The initial project ran from 2010-12 and was funded from a successful bid to the Cumbria Fells & Dales and Solway Border & Eden Local Action Groups for funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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