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Latest News

Drop in Desk 

 

We have a drop-in computer desk with internet access and printer available for Dartmoor farmers to use at the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project  office. In some cases we can book computer trainers to help you with a particular programme or aspect of IT that will help your farm business.  

FECPAK

Farmers can borrow one of our two FECPAKs (Faecal Egg Count Packs) for 3 months to see how you get on with checking the worm burden of your sheep on farm. A Payment of £30 is needed and you get the support of a farmer mentor to show you how to set it up and use it.  

 

 

 

Latest Word From the Chair

Russell Ashford is Chairman of the Hill Farm Project Steering Group and farms at West

Buckfastleigh. As well as being a Common landowner he is also a grazier and advocate for

our industry and the pivotal role upland farming plays on Dartmoor.  

 

So nobody could have foreseen the impact that Coronavirus (Covid 19) would have on all of our lives. I know that within reason by the very nature of our jobs we sometimes find ourselves working in isolation but this is unprecedented, we have never experienced anything like this.

 

Apart from the added strain of running a business with all due regard to the “social distancing” regulation, there is also the social impact through the separation from our families and friends and the closure of schools, pubs, restaurants, livestock shows and all those opportunities of meeting with others that we once took for granted are now sorely missed.

Of course we are not alone in this but I would like to think that we are as well placed as any to survive it. The unstinted help and support that has been shared throughout our rural communities has been an inspiration and exemplifies the generosity and good will of all those that live and work in the countryside. I am particularly grateful to the Steering Group members and the team who as ever will do their best to help in any way that they can. I would also like to thank James Rogers for his help over the past few years and wish him well for the future.

 

The much anticipated “Soils and Grassland” workshops have obviously had to be postponed but some of the ground-work still has to take place. To this end, the HFP will endeavour to demonstrate this through its web site. We will shortly be looking at innovative ways of reseeding spent pastures without the plough as well as exploring the value of alternative forages. Watch this space!

 

There is a stillness over Dartmoor at this moment in time, who knows that with less disturbance, this might just benefit the livestock and wildlife that live here. I wish you all a good lambing and calving season and new hope for the coming year.

 

Stay healthy and safe.

 

Russ Ashford

 

Radio Clips from 2 Dartmoor Farmers  

The clips below are of Laura Colwill who farms at Scoriton and Will Dracup who farms near Widecombe in the Moor. They were broadcast on local radio stations and were recorded to explain the way that they farm and what it's like to be a Dartmoor Farmer.

 

Laura Colwill
00:00 / 01:52
Will Dracup
00:00 / 01:50
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Beekeepers examining a frame of bees