Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Farmers for the Future

It’s not often that farms change hands but on the Lizard this year we've handed the keys to the farm gate over to two new farmers who are set to farm for the future on National Trust farms on the Lizard.

Tregullas - mainland Britain’s most southerly farm

At Tregullas, which falls between the Lizard village and the coast, the Amiss family (Nevil, Rona and their five children) arrived at the farmhouse in September having moved from a Council farm in Devon.

When the farm became available again, the Trust met with the local community and over the period of a year, asked them what they wanted to see happen to the land on their doorstep. A number of things came back; that wildlife, views and access were important; that people wanted to be able to buy local food and that a working farm was what was needed for the village. We really feel that Nevil and Rona have all the things needed to make the wishes of the community become a reality.
The Amiss family and sheep
They've come to Tregullas with sheep, Gloucester cattle, goats, ducks and chickens and a lot of good ideas. Already the farm feels more alive than it has over the last two years whilst we have been searching for a new tenant with ducks paddling out into the fields, goats and sheep bleating and cattle grazing the cliffs and fields around the lighthouse, making things right for the rare plants and chough that depend on these habitats.

In addition they've set up a crowdfunding appeal to raise money to kick start a vegetable growing business at Tregullas and need your support. Visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/tregullas-farm to get involved - they are 80% of the way to succeeding as we write this article…..

Predannack and Teneriffe farms – farming for wildlife

On the west coast of the Lizard the Trust’s land is really important for wildlife, from the rocky outcrops supporting the Lizard’s rarest plants, to the heathlands of Predannack airfield and the maritime grasslands and cliffs of the coast.

The Trust has been managing this land for wildlife for the past 30 years but a lot of that has been done through short term agreements with neighbouring farms or by using our own animals. It wasn't until we were able to take on additional land at Teneriffe farm that we could make a viable business with adequate buildings to support a farmer and his family to manage this land for wildlife in the future.

Will Watson
We’re pleased to have given this tenancy to Will Watson, a local farmer who has been looking after some of ours and Natural England’s land in recent years and whose herd of North Devon and Dexter cattle are hardy and sure-footed grazers who will cope well with the weather and the terrain on the wild west coast.

Will and his partner, Nicola, have a real passion for the landscape and the wildlife of this area and this came across strongly in their application to us. They will be moving into the farmhouse later in 2014. As they settle into their business they will sell their excellent beef through the National Trust campsite at Teneriffe as well as to the local community.


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