Tom Lorains, Farmer, High Snab Farm
World Heritage is very important for Cumbria. It will put the county and the Lake District in the spotlight. We’ve got everything here, but people don’t have to spend money to enjoy it. They can park up, go up Catbells, or any of the mountains to enjoy the air and scenery. It must be one of the biggest relievers of stress there is.
It would be the ultimate advertisement for all of us farmers who rely on tourism. The exposure would be great - and the best marketing tool possible.
High Snab Farm has its own majesty, crowned by the peaks of Catbells, Skiddaw, Blencathra, Causey Pike and the evocative old mineral mines of Goldscape.
There is still gold in these hills but when Tom Lorains trundled up a rutted track to take the tenancy of an ancient 17th century holding eight years ago, he knew there would be no fortune to be made here.
Tom applied for a National Trust farm when he finished studies at Derby’s agricultural college. It was another eight years before he got the call that High Snab, set in the stunning Newlands Valley - one of the Lake District’s quietest and most beautiful locations - was up for grabs.
He explains: “It had been advertised nationally. Fifteen expressed interest, 10 applied and five interviewed. I got the call heading back down the M6 that the National Trust (NT) wanted to send someone to find out more about me.”
His architect dad despaired of Tom’s career choice. The comfortable Derbyshire upbringing had focused on development and construction. But from the age of 10, he had been smitten by farming, keeping hens and selling eggs from his bike basket on the way to school.
He tried working on building sites, earning big bucks, but the pull of hills, livestock, and a life on the land was too strong to resist.
Tom had worked on an arable and beef farm in Shropshire. The ‘blandness of landscape, with its vast flatness and tramline hedges’ were not for him. His heart was set on a hill farm.
Read the rest of Tom’s story here
Article by Karen Barden
Tom Lorains is an entrepreneurial farmer investing in hill top farming in the Newlands Valley.