Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

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  • Created on: 05-02-09 22:35

Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

EXTENSIVE, COMMERCIAL, PASTORALFARMING

CASE STUDY - MERTHYR FARM IN THE SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK IN WALES.

HILL SHEEP FARM SYSTEM

THE INPUTS -SUBSIDIES FROM EU, PESTICIDES, 140 HECT LAND, 40 TONNES OF LIME, CATTLE, FEED, SHEEP, TRAILORS, 14 TONNES OF FERTILIZER, TRACTORS.

PROCESSES - FERTILIZING, MILKING, LAMBING, SHEARING.

OUTPUTS - 1200KG WOOL, 750 LAMBS, BEEF, MILK.

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Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

PHYSICAL FACTORS THAT AFFECT HILL SHEEP FARMING

RELIEF

- HIGH MOUNTAIN / STEEP SLOPE

- CAN'T USE MACHINERY FOR CROPS, TOO STEEP FOR COWS, MUST KEEP AGILE ANIMALS LIKE SHEEP

- HARLECH DOME HILLS (180-360M ABOVE SEA LEVEL)

TEMPERATURE

- COLD WINTERS AND MILD SUMMERS

- GROWING SEASON TOO SHORT FOR CROPS (NEED 90 FROST FREE DAYS), SUMMER NOT WARM ENOUGH FOR CROPS TO RIPEN (NEED 3 MONTHS OF 17 DEGREES C TO RIPEN), MUST KEEP SHEEP (HAVE THICK WARM WOOL)

- SUMMER TEMPS OF 14-15 DEGREES C ONLY

RAINFALL

- VERY HIGH RAINFALL

- TOO WET FOR CROPS (NEED 250-500MM A YEAR)

- 1300MM A YEAR, LOWER SLOPES ARE WATERLOGGED

SOIL

- THIN, ROCKY AND ACIDIC

- TOO INFERTILE FOR CROPS, TOO INFERTILE FOR LUSH GRASS

- SOIL IS CALLED GRIT, DEFICIENT IN LIME

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Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

HUMAN FACTORS THAT AFFECT HILL SHEEP FARMING

MARKET

- A LONG WAY FROM A LARGE MARKET

- CANNOT GROW PERISHABLE CROPS,CANNOT SELL PERISHABLE DAIRY PRODUCTS, CAN SELL LONG-LIFE WOOL/LAMB

- SNOWDONIA HAS FEW ROADS, VERY INACCESSIBLE

FINANCE / CAPITAL (MONEY)

- LITTLE PROFIT TO REINVEST

- CANNOT AFFORD EXPENSIVE MACHINERY, CAN KEEP SHEEP

- THE FARM MAKES VERY LITTLE PROFIT

LABOUR

- SPARSELY POPULATED AREA WITH FEW WORKERS

- CANNOT DO LABOUR INTENSIVE MARKET GARDENING, CAN KEEP SHEEP AS THEY REQUIRE LITTLE LABOUR

- THE FARM HAS 3 FULL TIME WORKERS AND 3 PART TIME WORKERS

POLITICS

- SUBSIDIES FOR LESS FAVOURED AREAS ARE AVAILABLE FOR HILL SHEEP FARMING (THE EU PROVIDES THEM AS PART OF THEIR CAP POLICY)

-FAMRERS ARE GIVEN £6.75 PER BREDDING EWE AND £54.40 FOR A BREEDING COW

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Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

RECENT PROBLEMS IN HILL SHEEP FARMING

1. PROFITS HAVE BEEN LOW

  • LAMB PRICES FALLEN (£25 PER LAMB)
  • FOOT AND MOUTH
  • FARMERS HAVE TO PAY SHEARERS MORE THAN WOOL IS WORTH
  • COSTS OF INPUTS HAVE INCREASED
  • SOME SUBSIDIES HAVE BEEN REMOVED

2. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH LABOUR

  • OLDER FARMERS ARE RETIRING
  • YOUNG PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO CARRY ON THEIR WORK
  • MORE APPEALING JOBS IN TOURISM
  • YOUNG PEOPLE MIGRATING TO CITIES

3. TOURISTS CAUSING CONFLICT WITH FARMERS

  • DOGS WORRY SHEEP
  • LITTER LEFT
  • DRY STONE WALLA BROKEN
  • FARMERS NOT ALLOWED TO DEVELOP - STRICT PLANNING REGULATIONS
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Hill Sheep Farming in The Lake District

RECENT CHANGES IN HILL SHEEP FARMING

1. DIVERSIFICATION

THIS IS WHEN FARMERS SUPPLEMENT THEIR INCOME BY HAVING NON-FARMING ACTIVITIES ON THEIR FARM. E.G. MERTHRY FARM HAS OPENED A CAMPSITE, AND ALSO HAS FARM VISITS FOR SCHOOL.

2. NEW GRANTS FROM THE EU

  • PLANTING AND CONSERVING HEDGEROWS
  • RESTORING STONE WALLS
  • ALLOWING NATURAL MEADOWLAND TO FLOWER AND SEED BEFORE CUTTING HAY
  • PLANTING WOODLAND

3. SOME FARMERS SELL PARTS OF THE FARM TO PEOPLE WHO WANT SECOND HOMES. FARMERS THEN FARM PART TIME ONLY, AND HAVE ANOTHER JOB IN A DIFFERENT INDUSTRY.

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