Five-year Yorkshire tenancy on offer for young farmers

Yorkshire Water has put an 84ha holding up for tender as part of an initiative to support young farmers.

Scow Hall Farm, in the Washburn Valley, will be let on a five-year agreement from November 2020 through a scheme run by the company, which is Yorkshire’s second-largest landowner.

The initiative is part of its Beyond Nature scheme, which supports tenant farmers to deliver sustainable land management.

See also: Expert tips on how to apply for a farm tenancy

The unit was previously a dairy farm and the most recent tenants had a beef enterprise, but the company is open to alternative options, and applicants will be asked how they would like to use the holding.

The land includes permanent pasture and transitional upland fringe, and comes with a house and a range of buildings.

Applicants must be over 18 and Yorkshire Water is aiming to support new entrants who may not otherwise have had an opportunity, but do have some knowledge of farming.

Scow Hall Farm

Scow Hall Farm © Yorkshire Water

‘Cycle of opportunity’

Lisa Harrowsmith, lead surveyor at Yorkshire Water, said: “After the first five-year lease, we will let the farm to another young farmer, creating a cycle of opportunity for the next generation of farmers.

“Once the tenancy is up, we will assist that farmer with finding new opportunities on a permanent holding or elsewhere within the agricultural industry, if they wish, by using the partnerships we have developed as part of our Land Strategy.”

In 2016, Yorkshire Water developed Beyond Nature, which holds sustainable land management at its core and prioritises nine key values.

The company believes Scow Hall Farm has the potential to deliver on seven of those values: biodiversity, water quality, carbon sequestration, farming enterprise, social benefits, climate change and recreation.

“We want to give young farmers the tools to create sustainable farms and will provide a mentor, training and business advice to encourage a sustainable approach to land management,” said Ms Harrowsmith.

Georgina Fort, county chairwoman of the Yorkshire Federation of Young Farmers Club, said: “Getting into farming is incredibly difficult, so having initiatives like the Beyond Nature starter farm from Yorkshire Water is welcome, as it enables a fantastic opportunity for a young farmer.”

Anyone interested in applying should email beyondnature@yorkshirewater.co.uk to register their interest. They will then be contacted on Monday 24 August with an application form. The deadline for applications is Friday 25 September.

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