A group of young people from Leeds recently traded the bright lights of the city for the fresh air and rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales when they spent an exciting day learning the ropes of hill farming during the busy lambing period.
Youngsters aged 11-14 from Burley Park Pupil Referral Unit in Leeds spent a memorable day volunteering with Dales’ farmer Rodney Beresford, assisting with herding, tagging and marking the new-born lambs on his land at the foot of Ingleborough.
One of the participants was twelve-year old Paris. This was the first time she’d had the opportunity to take part in a school trip, and she fully enjoyed the experience. Paris said: “It’s been great fun – I wish I could take a lamb home in my pocket! Everyone should try this.”
The event was organised by local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) as part of their pioneering outreach project ‘People and the DALES’ which aims to provide disadvantaged groups from urban areas with opportunities to enjoy and experience the health and well-being benefits of spending time in the natural environment of the Yorkshire Dales.
It is one of many stimulating events that have been made possible thanks to a recent donation of £3,000 from the David Brooke Charity to support the life-changing work of ‘People and the DALES’.
The David Brooke Charity was established by the late David Brooke, grandson of Arthur Brooke who started Brooke Bond Tea, with the aim of supporting disadvantaged children and young adults.
David Brooke’s son Nigel, who now runs the charity, joined the group from Burley Park Pupil Referral Unit to help on the farm. Nigel said: “It has been very worthwhile coming out to see how the young people are benefiting from YDMT’s work in this beautiful part of the country. I was very impressed by the way the group got stuck in helping with the lambs, and happy to see how much they seemed to enjoy taking part in this valuable experience.”
Judy Rogers, Community Worker at YDMT, said: “Our days out lambing are some of the most rewarding in our annual calendar, and we’re very grateful to the David Brooke Charity for making these events possible this year. Everybody enjoys handling the lambs, watching Rodney at work and learning about farming. Being in the outdoors lifts everyone’s moods and at the same time we can lend a hand. Such magical and memorable experiences are what this project is all about.”
The ‘People and the DALES’ project encourages people from disadvantaged and urban backgrounds to experience the Dales through activities such as walks, farm visits, conservation work and crafts.