Will Benson farms at Town Head Farm, which is owned by the National Trust. He has Herdwick sheep and Limousin x cows.

Town Head has around thirty acres of meadow land, as well as intakes separated from the fell by stone walls, and grazing rights on common land stretching from the base of Helm Crag to the south side of Steel Fell, north of Grasmere.

Will’s family has been farming in Cumbria since the 1700s.

“A red pop on the left hand side of the shoulder, that’s the smit mark of this farm. And the ear mark is an under half out of the left ear. These sheep know where their home is. Fell sheep pass the knowledge down from mother to daughter. They’re good sheep, quite hardy. The only time they’re wintered off is as a hogg, which is in the first winter. The second winter, they spend at the fell and I don’t breed from them. They just learn to live on the heft, and grow; they are a slow maturing sheep. They’ll have a lamb in their third year.

I try to farm as traditionally as possible, and maintain the land and my business as sustainably as possible. From a World Heritage point of view, farming has moulded what the Lake District is today. You’ll see everywhere there are sheep folds, barns, walls, farming systems. You’ve got a mosaic of different herbs, flowers, and if the land weren’t grazed by sheep it would just be scrub or woodland and those rare plants would get smothered out. The walls have been put up hundreds of years ago by farmers over generations, over a lot of hours. I have hundreds of metres of walls. It’s a massive part of farming a fell farm, maintaining your boundaries, your intakes and your inbye land.

I’ve always, always wanted to be a farmer.

I’m never going to be a millionaire that’s for sure, living and working here – but I can say for myself, my wife, my children, we’re very happy to be here. Wild horses couldn’t drag me off to do anything else.”

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Will Benson farms at Town Head Farm, which is owned by the National Trust. He has Herdwick sheep and Limousin x cows.