23 April 1999

30 NT projects to help tenants

MORE than 30 projects have been approved by the National Trust as part of its support package to help its tenant farmers weather the crisis in agriculture.

The trust announced in February that it would make £400,000 available to fund schemes aimed at improving its farms income and environmental potential.

Among the initiatives announced are a fresh meat marketing survey, grants to improve bed and breakfast accommodation, and funding to explore the possibility of using Herdwick wool as roof insulation.

The trust owns a flock of 20,000 Herdwick sheep, but wool from the breed has had to be stockpiled after a collapse in demand.

Rob Macklin, the trusts agricultural adviser, said the schemes would help boost tenants businesses and help them look after precious landscapes.

He hoped the cash could be followed by other special aid payments. "The initiative is very much the start of a process &#42