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We’re Buying a Farm

Learning from the land set to continue in Cumbria

Low Beckside Farm, Mungrisdale, Cumbria

Chief Executive Dr Victoria Edwards with our Cumbria-based Outdoor Learning Officer Susie Grainger and her dog, Meg

Chief Executive Dr Victoria Edwards at Low Beckside Farm

The future of learning from the land at the last remaining agricultural college farm in Cumbria looks set to be secured, thanks to the intervention of The Ernest Cook Trust.

We have made an offer to purchase Low Beckside Farm, Mungrisdale, pledging to continue its use as a crucial learning resource for the region.
The farm is the sole remaining centre of learning on the land in Cumbria and was part of Newton Rigg campus (run by Askham Bryan College), which is closing in July 2021.

Our offer for the farm has been accepted by Askham Bryan College, in a sale organised by international land agency Savills.

There was local concern at the potential loss of this valuable learning resource to the children and young people of Cumbria. Thanks to our intervention, its future looks secure as an operating farm and we look forward to re-establishing it as a learning centre.

Our aim is to get more people learning from the land by operating the farm alongside training schemes, apprenticeships, demonstrations, educational visits, workshops, seminars and open days.

Andrew Christie-Miller, our Chairman of Trustees, said,

We have been looking for a suitable place to support land-based learning in the north of England. We are really excited about the opportunities that Low Beckside will offer to so many young people.

Tim Whitaker, CEO and Principal of Askham Bryan College, which took over the running of Newton Rigg in 2011, said,

We are delighted that The Ernest Cook Trust has come forward to protect this valuable local resource. Low Beckside has provided practical training opportunities to so many young people over the years and its contribution to the future of upland farming now looks set to continue.

Low Beckside Farm is a great addition to the work the Trust already carries out in the north of England.

We run training and apprenticeship programmes for disadvantaged young people from our base in Cumbria, in collaboration with Lowther Castle and Gardens Trust. We also do much for engaging communities in the countryside from our base in Lancashire, as part of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Scheme.

We have a lifelong approach to outdoor learning that covers schools, skills and communities. Low Beckside will provide a spectacular landscape for us to nurture and grow our work in the north west.
Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, Chief Executive