2015-01-05   facebook twitter rss

New Arrivals at Cumbrian College

A fellside above Penrith is the new home for a hardy breed of beef cattle, thanks to a partnership between Newton Rigg College and Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

The Luing cattle were originally bred on the Hebridean island of the same name and owe their hardiness to their Highland and Beef Shorthorn bloodlines.

David Harpley of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust with Farms Manager Jonathan Fisher of Newton Rigg College with the new Luing cattle

David Harpley of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust with Farms Manager Jonathan Fisher of Newton Rigg College with the new Luing cattle

Newton Rigg College has taken delivery of 16 in-calf heifers which will graze 500 acres of fell at Eycott Hill, next to the College’s own uplands farm, Low Beckside Farm.

The addition of the cattle brings benefits to both the College and Cumbria Wildlife Trust. Newton Rigg’s Farms Manager Jonathan Fisher said: “The Luings are particularly suited to the uplands, being a hardy breed which can live out all year round and cope with adverse weather conditions. Our other beef herd of Angus cattle winters indoors so the Luings will give students the experience of dealing with an outdoor herd’s needs, such as calving in the spring, and demonstrate the options open to farmers.

The cattle’s arrival is also expected to bring land management benefits, improving the environment for wildlife. Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Manager, David Harpley, said: “We have been working to improve the habitat at Eycott Hill for some time now and having the Luings will be a valuable tool. Cattle are selective grazers and their movement helps plants to seed better.”

Newton Rigg is part of Askham Bryan College, the fastest growing land-based college in the country. It is home of the National Centre of the Uplands which leads on uplands education, skills and demonstration.

The College offers a wide range of courses in agriculture including degrees, diplomas and apprenticeships and is the only college in the country to have its own hill farm and grouse moor.

Newton Rigg

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