REGENERATIVE farming has received a boost owing to a new grants programme which has completed its first year of operation.

More than thirty projects – nearly all of them farmer-led – have got off the ground with support from the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.

They include the introduction of a rotational grazing system, called ‘mob’ or ‘regenerative’ grazing, at Gaythorne Hall Farm near the village of Asby in the Westmorland Dales part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Farmer Jim Beary has used a grant to help pay for infrastructure to supply water around the farm and better protect watercourses, while also reducing field sizes to benefit wildlife and livestock.

For the year to the end of next March a further £1.3 million is available to farmers in the National Park. In the third and final year of the Farming in Protected Landscape programme, in 2023/24, £1 million will be available.

Mr Beary said: “We couldn’t have done what we are doing without the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme. The grant has enabled us to start transforming the farming system. It’s been a very quick process. We’ve been able to discuss with the National Park Authority what both of us want and come up with a plan that suits everybody.

“We want the farming system to be more resilient and more sympathetic to the environment. Resilience means we’ll be better placed to continue farming in the future, from both a financial perspective and dealing with climate change and all the challenges that will bring.”

A total of 31 multi-themed projects were supported in the first year of Farming in Protected Landscapes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. A local panel whose membership includes several local farmers met seven times during the year to assess all the applications against the benefits they would bring to climate, nature, people and place.

Farming in Protected Landscapes is a Defra programme, which is being administered in the Yorkshire Dales National Park by the National Park Authority.

Member Champion for the Natural Environment at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Ian McPherson, said: “It’s been a good start and we expect it only to pick up from here.”