Y10 Hill Sheep Farming in the Lake District

Lake district farming types

This week we will be looking at hill sheep farming in the Lake District.  Above is a screen shot of an example of a farm in the Lake district.  Click on either the image or the google earth icon  to download the map tacks shown on this screenshot for information about the three different landuse zones on a hill farm. 

google.jpg Google Earth File for hill farming land use in the Lake District

You will need to make sure you know the three zones of land on the Lake district farm click on the tacks to open up an explanation of the Inbye, Intake and the High Fell.

Hill farms are Pastoral Farms which are Commercial and are Extensive Farms this is because they use little machinery and labour and the farms cover a large area of land.

Physical Factors

Remember upland areas in the UK offer a variety of physical and human factors that makes grazing sheep the main farming activity.  The lake district sheep (e.g. the Swaledale sheep are hardy breeds and sure footed on the rugged terrain) can survive extemes of weather and low quality pasture . 

Cool summers, cold harsh winters and high rainfall (2000mm of rain on the fells) means that grass for grazing grows easily in these areas but makes it a poor climate for growing arable crops.  There is a 1degree fall in temperature for every 160m.  The soils are poor and thin with high erosion rates making it only suitable for sheep farming.   The relief of the land also means it is difficult for machinery to be used on this land and for cattle to cope with this terrain. This is marginal land.

Human Factors

The market is small in area and their is little available labour in these sparsely populated upland areas, most of the farms are family run and can rarely affort more than one paid worker.  There is also often little profit to reinevest back into the farm.  There are subsidies and grants to help farmers to have a minimum standard of living.  Farming is very hard and many of the farmers did not chose this job but were born into it.

Recent Problems

BBC article ‘Tippling point’ for British Farming – an article explaining some of the recent problems for hill sheep farmers (oct 2007)

Read this article for homework and use your class notes to fill in the word document below to make sure you have all the main problems of sheep farming

word-icon-1.jpg recent-problems-in-hill-sheep-farming.doc


What does this image and video have to do with farm diversification?


The big sheep click to find out more

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