Helping with an uphill struggle
More than 700 livestock farmers and their families have been helped by a project set up three years ago, with a particular focus on the younger generation.
Chief among those to have received help from the Exmoor Hill Farm project is a group of young farmers who in 2010 set up the Exmoor Forward Farming Group, meeting monthly to visit farms or hear from experts.
As well as this group, the project – funded through the Rural Development Programme for England – has been working closely with women involved in farming on the moor, in particular setting up training courses on areas such as social media, first aid, butchery and book keeping.
In three years, Julie Heard, Kate Harris and Carol Embury have supported around 300 people through workshops and talks, as well as helping more than 200 businesses apply for funding.
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Study trips to Scotland, Cumbria, Wales and Dartmoor provide chances to see farming in other upland areas, inspiring and encouraging them as well as giving them valuable opportunities to meet other farmers.
Much of the work has been funded through the skills programme, run by Duchy College, and this partnership has proved invaluable. Wayne Simmons, skills project manager, said: "We are delighted to have an excellent working relationship with the project, combining their knowledge with our ability to fund training."
More details from 01643 841455, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. www.exmoorhilfarmproject.org.uk