BGS Summer Meeting 2013 "A Taste of Cumbria"

BGS Summer Meeting 2013 "A Taste of Cumbria"

Booking Closed

BGS are pleased to announce our 2013 Summer Meeting is being held in Penrith, Cumbria from Sunday 23rd June to Wednesday 26th June. We will be staying in Penrith and visiting 8 farms including the dairy unit being built at Newton Rigg College. The farms are a diverse range of grassland farms near Penrith, showcasing a little bit of everything that the region has to offer. We would like to thank the Cumbrian Local Society for all their hard work in pulling this tour together, for more information on their activities go to their facebook page here.

On the first evening, Sunday 23rd June, we will be hosting an evening buffet followed by our Annual General Meeting at the North Lakes Hotel.

Monday, 24th June:

  • Ian Foster at Weary Hall Style, Mealsgate. Ian farms 220 Holstein-Friesian Pedigree Dairy cows, 150 Beef animals, and 220 young stock who graze nearby. Grassland is used as part of the daytime in the dairy ration in the summer months and is an important part of the system particularly for the beef animals and young stock on farm
  • David Lawton at Greystoke Castle farm, Greystoke. David is the manager of this vast farm (2020acres) which is home to 270 Limosine suckler cows, 2200 ewes and 600 hoggets. Grazed grass is utilised year round by his sheep and his beef animals are turned out for the spring, summer, and autumn to keep on top of the grass growth on the farm.
  • Andrew Keeley, Braesteads Farm. Overshadowed by Dollywagon Pike, Andrew farms the 536acre hill farm with 800 Swaledale ewes, native to the area, and 100 Cheviots as well as 20 pedigree Simmental suckler cows. As the farm consists of 123acres of inbye land and is hills of the lakes, Andrew's farm faces some of the toughest conditions in Cumbria and none tougher than the last 12 months. We are very lucky to see such a unique farm.
Tonight  for full delegates only we will be out on a lake dinner cruise, the evening will pass us by as we make our way around Ullswater Lake.

Tuesday, 25th June:

  • Martin Dixon, Cumbria Local Society Silage Winner, Smallthwaite. Martin milks 150 Pedigree Holstein Friesian cows on 230acres of permenant grassland. The animals graze the farm during the summer and during the winter are fed a ration which includes a high proportion of the exceptional quality grass silage Martin makes every year. 
  • Newton Rigg College, £2million new dairy unit. We will be visiting Newton Rigg for lunch and a look around the almost complete dairy unit. The unit will be a classroom for Newton Rigg's students who want to learn about dairying and the plans at this stage are looking very impressive.
  • A.W. Jenkinson at Whinfell Park. Whinfell park is home to the highest paid for at auction Limousin bull and 150 breeding Limousin females, 3000 Texel/North Country mule cross ewes, and 700 acres of arable land. Manger Nick Schofield will take us on a tour around this immaculate farm.
Tonight we will be hosting the Gala Dinner at the North Lakes Hotel. The dinner is a BGS tradition and will be hosted by the Incoming President, Helen Mathieu.

Wednesday, 26th June:

  • Robert Craig and Steve Brandon at Dolphenby Farm, Eden Hall. Steve and Robert will show us Dolphenby, a New Zealand style dairy farm where animals prefer freshly grazed grass so much that they will walk right past the feed bins in sideways rain to get to their fields. They animals are calved in the spring and grazed outdoors as soon as possible on fields that have been reseeded in varities of grass that are suited for grazing dairy cows. The farm is a great example of how grazing can be profitible in dairy farming.
  • Colin Dent and Family at Bridge End Farm, Kirkby Thore. Colin and his son Mark farm 850 pedigree Holstein Friesians producing 9,500L in a high input high output zero grazing system. It may not seem like he fits the bill for a grassland walk, but what Colin does instead of grazing, he uses his grassland as a harvestable, high protein crop that he makes into silage. A lot of the extra feed is also grown on the farm rather than buying in as much as other high input producers. By treating his grassland like a crop rather than a problem, he has made it work for him.

Alternative Tour: We will also be running an alternative tour for those who would like to see fewer farms and the more leisurely sights of Cumbria. We have lots of interesting and beautiful places lined up. Please click here for full details on all the places we will be visiting.


Event Date: Sun, 23/06/2013 - Wed, 26/06/2013
Event Time: TBA

Misc Publications
Publication Download
Summer Meeting Alternative Tour 2013


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