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Stackyard News Sep 2012

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Upland Specialist Receives Blamire Medal

This week one of Cumbria’s most respected members of the farming industry Mervyn Edwards was presented with the prestigious 2012 Blamire Award at Borrowdale Shepherds Meet. In the pouring rain he was presented with the Blamire Medal by Trustee Robert Morris-Eyton for his services to Agriculture in Cumberland, in particular on behalf of Hill Farming.

Mervyn Edwards (Left) receiving his award from Trustee Robert Morris-Eyton

Mervyn Edwards

Each year, the prestigious Blamire Award, a monogrammed coin like medal is presented to people who are directly involved in agriculture in the old county of Cumberland. The Blamire Trust gives the Blamire Prize to people they feel who have gone beyond the call of duty and gone out of their way to do as much as they can for the agricultural community. The Trustees are all made up of local farmers and this is their way of recognising the exceptional efforts of those in their own industry.

Nick Utting, Secretary of the Blamire Trust unhesitatingly tells us why made this award:

“The Trust felt that Mervyn was most deserving having done so much for sheep farming and hill farming in particular throughout Cumberland. His many years of service through a number of organisations have made him a much respected man in the world of agriculture and we were delighted to honour his work with the Blamire Award”.

Mervyn who lives in Penrith with his wife Gabrielle has been involved in farming all of his life. Brought up on an upland farm in North Wales, he went onto study agriculture and farm business management at Seale Hayne College. Prior to retiring last May, for 42 years he worked for government agricultural departments, MAFF, ADAS, Defra and Natural England. Working across the North of England particularly in the Northern part of the Lake District he is a renowned expert in his field. He was a National Upland Agi-Environment Adviser for Natural England, recently working on the development of Uplands ELS. Previously, he worked with the Rural Development Service of Defra on the Lake District ESA scheme. Unable to stay away from agriculture for good Mervyn returned to the industry in a part time role with Cumbria’s own H&H Land and Property.

This award was a complete surprise and on accepting it at a very wet show Mervyn said;

“I am absolutely delighted and feel honoured to receive this award and I am especially pleased that it was presented in Borrowdale as I have worked in the dale for many years and it has given me the opportunity to reflect on the many happy years I have worked with the farmers in the Dale as a farm business adviser and ESA scheme project officer. The farmers are very friendly and have a great community spirit, and today I really do feel part of this spirit. I would like to thank Cumberland farmers for their warm welcome and continuing friendship”

As Senior Agricultural Uplands Advisor with H&H Land and Property and a member of their Agri-Environment Team in his part time role he specialises in common land and Stewardship agreements.

John Robson Managing Director of H&H Land and Property has known and worked with Mervyn for 25 year and is absolutely delighted for Mervyn:

“This is very well deserved recognition from the farming community. In his time with Natural England and DEFRA, Mervyn was pivotal in the development of the upland grant schemes which have been vital for Cumbria’s Hill Farmers.”

This Blamire Medal is not Mervyn’s first accolade for his contribution to the industry. In 2009 he was awarded an MBE for his services to farming in Cumbria and in 2011 he received the National Sheep Association’s TI Allinson Memorial Award for a lifetime contribution to the northern sheep industry.

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