The future of land-based education on a Cumbrian farm will continue as a key purchase has been made.
The Ernest Cook Trust stepped in with an offer to buy Low Beckside Farm – part of the now closed Newton Rigg Agricultural College near Penrith – to ensure it would remain a learning resource as well as a farm highland sheep.
The Gloucestershire-based trust is a UK-wide educational charity, creating outdoor experiences for children, young people and their families.
A landowner in six counties, it runs education programs on its own estates, as well as with partner estates, and offers grants for outdoor learning activities.
Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, Managing Director of The Ernest Cook Trust, said: “We are delighted that our purchase of Low Beckside Farm has now been finalized.
“This is a first for us full farmers because the rest of the trust’s farmland is managed by our sharecroppers.
“We now have important work to do to determine the farm’s potential to serve as a learning resource while deepening our understanding of how to cultivate in a nature-friendly way.
“In the meantime, the farm is already being used by students at Kendal College for level one earth studies.
“It’s great to have young people on the farm again.