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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Open Farm Sunday at national park

Visitors can chat to farmers, gamekeepers and moorland managers about their role in caring for the countryside when the Moors National Park's Danby centre hosts Open Farm Sunday this week (June 9). 

The free event is an opportunity to learn more about upland farming and conservation.

Visitors can eye up Swaledale and Scottish Black Face sheep at close quarters, find out about the habits of the Red Grouse and learn about why bracken has to be controlled.

Park ranger David Smith will at hand to chat about rights of way and the Country Code, and there will also be talks by the Danby Environmental Stewardship Scheme and the RSPB.

Open Farm Sunday is a national event with the theme, Discover the story behind your food.

Neil Harland, one of the farmers involved in the Danby Moors Environmental Stewardship Scheme, said: “This scheme represents an amazing opportunity for the present farming community to leave a landscape for future generations that is environmentally better than it was before.”

Open Farm Sunday is managed by Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) with support from leading food and farming organisations. LEAF works with farmers, the food industry, scientists and consumers to inspire and enable sustainable farming that is prosperous, enriches the environment and engages local communities.

The stewardship scheme is funded by Natural England and managed by local upland farmers and Dawnay Estate staff. The scheme wants to improve the quality of the moorland landscape, increase biodiversity, and offset climate change impact.

 The project involves the sensitive management of moorland to provide a diverse mosaic of habitats that benefit wildlife, sheep and Red Grouse.

Other Open Farm Sunday events are taking place around the North York Moors. The Hawk and Owl Trust is offering a guided walk on Fylingdales Moor and at Commondale, there will sheep shearing demonstrations, farm walks, a wellie-throwing competition, a meet the animals event and hand wool spinning demonstrations.

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