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The Herdwick Sheep School get mobile

PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:24 27 April 2016

James Rebanks from Cumbria was awarded the Land Rover and the Prince's Countryside Fund. His Freelander 2 enables him to support the rural community.

James Rebanks from Cumbria was awarded the Land Rover and the Prince's Countryside Fund. His Freelander 2 enables him to support the rural community.

not Archant

Lakeland farmer James Rebanks now has a vehicle to help on his Herdwick farm

James Rebanks from Cumbria was awarded the Land Rover and the Prince's Countryside Fund. His Freelander 2 enables him to support the rural community.James Rebanks from Cumbria was awarded the Land Rover and the Prince's Countryside Fund. His Freelander 2 enables him to support the rural community.

Setting up a school for sheep might seem like mission impossible until you realise that sheep are the subject not the students.

It is the brainchild of James Rebanks, whose family-run business has at its core a traditional farm specialising in native local breeds – the Herdwick and the Swaledale.

It is operated in an environmentally-friendly way with wide-ranging conservation projects on the land. This has stirred up considerable interest on social media sites, harnessing thousands of Twitter followers from around the world.

Now, James and wife Helen are creating the Herdwick Sheep School at their farm in Penruddock, near Penrith. It aims to bring small groups of visitors, including school parties, to the farm to learn about the ancient traditions and techniques of the Lake District. The family has just completed a ‘sheep shed classroom’.

James has been awarded the The Prince’s Countryside Fund Land Rover Bursary to help develop his family’s farm and the Sheep School project. James needed a suitable vehicle for tackling the varied rural terrain and one that will go on to help in his quest to educate visitors about farming and food. Now, he has received a vehicle that will help him achieve that.

‘We are genuinely excited to be one of the first ever candidates to receive The Prince’s Countryside Fund Land Rover Bursary,’ said James. ‘We have recently invested in one of the notable flocks of Herdwick sheep in the Lake District, taking on the responsibility for farming them on their mountain range home.

‘This unique landscape requires a tough all-terrain vehicle and a Freelander 2 is the perfect answer. We plan on using it to help us do our bit to continue the skills, traditions and way of life that is farming in Cumbria and to take our business forwards. We think that the way the Lake District is farmed by a few dozen families is really important and we want to do our bit to explain it to the wider world and the next generation.’

To find out more about The Prince’s Countryside Fund log onto www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk

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