Park & District Farmers Study Visit August 2017

This four day visit included beef, dairy and sheep farms in Wales, North Pennines and Northamptonshire!

Thursday 10 August 2017

Berryfields Farm, Northamptonshire
The first visit was to a beef finishing unit who also produce a complete range of cattle and sheep feeds manufactured using their own formulations. The CEO, John Bell explained the benefits of an integrated beef supply chain on this impressive 2000 head per year Dairy Beef finishing system. The group saw a complete supply chain taking 16 week old dairy bred calves arriving on farm at 120 to 140 kg using their own high energy feeds to achieve a uniform 600 Kg liveweight ready to be sold direct to Dunbia supplying both the Co-op and Lidl.

Friday 11 August 2017

Ruthin Farmers Auction Company ( North Wales)

On Friday the group visited a livestock market in Ruthin hosted by Auctioneer Emyr Lloyd. The mart currently employs six full time and 15 part time staff and sells 3,000 lambs a week, 800 ewes and every class of cattle and sheep. It also runs machinery sales, a sheep dog sale and specialist Ram and Bull Sales. During the visit the group saw an auction of Prime Lambs and Cull Ewes

The market opened in 1992 and in 2015 they officially opened an extension which contains a new multipurpose hall for animal sales which can be used by the public for conferences and private events such as weddings. The extension also includes office space and extended the canteen.

The market webpage and Facebook carries an up-to-date diary of the specialist events and some useful livestock photographs.

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Jersey herd with Belgian Blue Cross
Richard Wynne, Company Chairman of Ruthin Farmers Auction then took the group to his farm nearby.

Richard Wynne, Company Chairman of Ruthin Farmers Auction then took the group to visit his farm nearby. Richard who farms along with his two sons has a 300 Jersey herd and uses a Belgian Blue cross to produce quality beef stock. Richard started the farm in 1960 with 54 acres. Over the years the farm has grown in size until it now comprises about 1,000 acres with some being owned by his two sons.

The Jersey Herd  is achieving premium milk prices from a local cheese producer and a high energy diet is assured from home-grown maize silage and high quality grass silage.  

While the cattle can be grass reared the cows are housed both summer and winter and a new cubicle house is nearing completion. The design features new bedded  cubicles where the cows will lie on  a mix of lime, sand and  sawdust and the dung passages  will use  automatic  Scrapers.

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Limousin Cattle and North Country Hill Cheviot Ewes
The final visit of the day was to a hill farm where we met  Glyn  who is both  a Limousin Cattle Breeder and a hill sheep farmer. Farming in partnership with his father Glyn manages 486 hectares (1,200 acres) and runs a suckler herd of 140 cows mainly of Limousin  and  some Belgian Blue. Stock Bulls are generally purchased through the Carlisle Bull sales and the best heifers are retained as replacements while the males and  remainder are sold as store cattle when  aged around  12 to14 months of age.

The farm also runs 1,000 North Country Hill Cheviots which are crossed with a Texel.  The better type gimmer lambs are retained as replacements with the rest being  sold to a finisher.

Glyn is also a popular Suckler Calf judge and he  also exhibits his own stock at national events. Testimony   to his eye for a good animal, Glyn recently  won Reserve Champion heifer at Agri Expo, and  had a pedigree steer win Supreme Champion at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Swaledale Sheep and Limousin Cattle, County Durham
Tom and Kay Hutchinson are tenant hill farmers in the North Pennines breeding Swaledale sheep and Limosin Blue cattle. Tom is the son of a policeman but inherited his love of farming from his grandparents who had a farm nearby. Kay grew up on a smallholding but tenancy was the only way they could get into farming themselves. They rent their farm on a 15 year lease  from the Raby Estate of Lord Barnard which has many tenanted farms, houses and cottages  in the area.

Kay had no knowledge of Swaledales until she met Tom who passed on his passion for the breed because of their ability to thrive and rear lambs in the worst possible conditions. Kay works for the local auctioneers and Tom does contract shearing to subsidise the farm income.

The farm family featured in the film ‘Addicted to sheep” shown by the BBC which captures a year in their life as north Pennines tenant farmers.

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Youth Exchange to Sweden

The second Erasmus+ youth exchange took place in Skellefteä, Sweden 26 June – 2 July 2017 and  included youth and youth leaders from Bulgaria, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, and Northern Ireland (UK).

These partners are also part of the Erasmus+ Euro-Youth MediaLab project which includes partners from Croatia, Italy, Poland and Slovakia.

During the week long programme the youth explored  integration and inclusion and what it meant to them and how it differed across the regions which enabled them to understand the different views and opinions of youth from other countries.

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Erasmus+ Contact making seminar

Contact making Seminar 8 & 9 June 2017
Lid+ organised a contact making seminar in June 2016 in Derry, Northern Ireland which brought together 10 international Erasmus+ experts to work with and mentor 10 local youth organisations to explore ideas to develop an Erasmus+ project.

The experts from Spain, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia, Greece, Croatia and Ireland shared their extensive knowledge of EU funding, youth activities and the Erasmus+ programme with the local organisations to help them develop their project ideas.

Each local partner developed working partnerships with various members of the international experts and will continue to work up their applications for the next application deadline in October 2017.

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The Opportunity Europe Euro Quiz 2017

The competition is designed specifically for Key Stage 3 pupils.  It is based on the KS3 curriculum and tested students’ knowledge of topics such as geography; culture; daily life; food and drink; languages; music; faces; places and much, much more!

Five regional heats were held in Belfast; Derry~Londonderry; Ballymena; Omagh and Armagh.

The heats were keenly contested with all students displaying a terrific and diverse knowledge of life and culture throughout the rest of Europe.  Nine teams from around Northern Ireland took part in the Grand Final which was held on Thursday 1 June.

Congratulations to the team members from Methodist College Belfast who were the overall winners on the day also to the team members from Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s College who were Overall Runners Up, following a tie break against the team from Thornhill College.


EuroYouth MediaLab meeting in Bulgaria

The meeting in Bulgaria took place to pan actives for the Euro Youth MediaLab project.

The Euro-Youth MediaLab Project is a two year project funded through Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships.

The aim of the project is to work with youth to explore what issues concern them and present their views through multimedia reports which they will produce and share with their project partners.

Project Partners
The 10 partners are organisations that host a Europe Direct Information Centre:

Bulgaria                               Croatia
Finland                                 France
N Ireland (UK)                     Italy
Poland                                   Slovakia
Spain                                     Sweden

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Women return to work study visit: Poland, Sweden & Turkey

The purpose of this 3 day project meeting was to share their best practice between in N Ireland and how women are supported to return to work or set up business in this region with partners from Sweden, Poland and Turkey.

The Women Return to Work Project is two year project funded through
Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships.

The partners are from: Sweden, Poland, Turkey, N Ireland (UK)

The aim of the project is to prepare women of all ages (local, migrant, refugee and disabled) to return to employment or entrepreneurship after a period of economic inactivity by developing their key skills and competencies to improve labour mobility especially in rural areas where finding employment can be more difficult by providing them with explore opportunities to create employment.


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Social Farm Visit

The objective of this visit was to share expertise and knowledge on agriculture and the practice of social farming on this region to share with the partners in the CRANE project.

The CRANE project is funded for 2yrs through Erasmus+ strategic partners for adult education with partners from the UK, Italy, Spain and Malta.

The aim of the project is to provide farmers involved in multifunctional farms with the skills and competencies required to fulfill their role of promoting and informing people about agriculture through non formal education.

The project will use the experiences of farmers across the partner regions who offer services/ activities to develop training to provide farmers with the necessary skills to develop or improve these services/ activities on their farms.





Primary School visit to Stormont

These two primary schools came together to share each others history and following a visit to Dublin they looked at how this region is governed. A visit to the local assembly in Stormont allowed them to sit in the chamber and debate the issues that were imported to them. The conduced their discussion as members of the local assembly and voted other positions to understand how the assembly make decisions.