Resilient farmers in northern England

February 14, 2022

Last week (8th to 11th February) The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Programme Officer Fiona Parker travelled to the north of England last week to visit the Slaggyford and Newcastle Farm Resilience Programme (FRP) groups

Both groups were being given a workshop on ‘Business planning and Managing Change’ delivered by Duncan Winspear of Savills. The Slaggyford group met at their local community hall, and the Newcastle group were hosted at Newcastle University’s Nafferton Farm.

The groups received an overview on upcoming changes in agriculture and then carried out a SWOT analysis of the farming industry in the north of England. This raised some interesting points, particularly surrounding the increasing importance of carbon management in farming, and how many of the topics raised could fit under several categories. Carrying out this exercise also gave the farmers an understanding of how to carry out this analysis for their own farm businesses.

The Slaggyford group went on to discuss what makes a farmer resilient, whilst the Newcastle group carried out a different activity, listing or drawing where they would like to be in 10 years time. Interestingly, the lists tended to focus on business aims, whilst the drawings more often reflected more personal goals.

Both groups had had their ‘Managing your farmed environment’ workshops delivered by Sarah Brockless of Oakbank the previous week and had incredibly positive things to say about it. They felt that the content was relevant to their regions and was delivered in an understandable way. The Slaggyford group gained so much from it they are looking to continue their learnings on this topic with a farm walk identifying environmental assets as part of their free choice meetings.

Find out more about the Farm Resilience Programme