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Cyber Farming with Fantasy Farm Blog
2009-10-26

Designed to make advice on rural issues more accessible, rural specialists George F. White are today launching one of the country's most innovative blogs, farmersblog.co.uk.

The blog demonstrates how the family tackle the challenges of planning, stewardship schemes and climate change and even what their children get up to at Young Farmers

Kerry Graham

This almost real life farm blog follows the lives of the fictitious Swale family on their two farms one a livestock and one arable. The blog demonstrates how the family tackle the challenges of planning, stewardship schemes and climate change and even what their children get up to at Young Farmers.

For most people blogging is now an integral part of daily life from political commentary to a way of finding out more about a shared interest. The George F. White Fantasy Farm Blog will look at the day to day issues facing the Swale family which will no doubt strike a chord with many farmers.

Today as www.farmersblog.co.uk goes live it is commenting on the Mule lamb sales from the Swale family's hill flock and how to comply with Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and obligations. Later in the week there will be a report on the Renewable Event held by the CLA.

By posting comments and advice on current and important issues, George F. White hopes that the blog will quickly become a valuable resource for the farming community when they are looking for a reliable source of professional advice.

As Louis Fell of George F. White explains, "The blog is designed to reflect the issues that are relevant to many working in rural businesses. We hope that farmers will read this and see that we can provide them with help and recommendations when they’re facing similar problems themselves. Our team is qualified to give expert advice on a wide range of issues from planning regulations to grants to tenancy agreements and the blog will provide an initial starting point for discussions on these topics."

The Swale family operate two farms, Peat Fell Farm is a 700 acre mixed livestock farm run by son Marvin since 2003 and Foster Oates Farm a 560 acre arable farm run by second son Mike on a tenancy basis. The farms illustrate a number of issues that are faced everyday by those in rural communities for example, Peat Fell farm has a stone barn with the development potential to be converted to a 3 bedroom dwelling and Foster Oates Farm has had permission to make a number of improvements which could impact on their tenancy agreement.

In addition to the regular posts, the blog will also contain family biographies for the fictional Swale family, farm descriptions and plans.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the George F. White Farm Blog should contact Louis Fell at the Alnwick office of George F. White or email Louise Fell.

The fictitious Swale family currently operates 2 farms:

Peat Fell Farm Foster Oates Farm
700 acre mixed livestock farm4 bedroom farmhouseMixed farm buildings3 bedroom cottageStone field barn with development potential 560 acre arable farm5 bedroom farmhouse3 bedroom cottageRange of modern farm buildingsLivery yard
Occupied by Marvin Swale, took over from father in 2003. 2 grown up daughters have left home. Rented on an Agricultural Holdings Act First Succession Tenancy, by Marvin's brother Mike since 1991
50 Continental-Limousine Cross Head Suckler Herd300 Swaledale Flock400 Mule Flock Winter Wheat 240 acresWinter Oilseed Rape 120 acresWinter Barley 100 acresPermanent Pasture 100 acres
No son to inherit tenancy so Marvin currently looking to hand on some management while remaining resident in farmhouse Managed by Mike and Andrew Swale and one further employee. Niece Charlie operates separate livery business
Subject to annual SPS and HFA Payments Subject to Single Farm PaymentsCountryside Stewardship Scheme entry expires 2010
In National Par and partly in SSSI In new Nitrate Vulnerable Zone area will be subject to new regulations from 2010

link Yorkshire Dales Farm for Sale
link Norfolk's County Farms U-Turn is Madness
link Farmers Urged to Sort Long Term Financing

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