A farming family in the Lake District are thrilled that they were able to secure the future of the farm for generations to come by diversifying during the lockdown.
Last year Jonathan Benson and Nicola Marsh came up with the idea of ââexpanding their farm in Great Langdale by opening luxury cabins for people to stay there and were overwhelmed by the response they received.
Jonathan and Nicola own Harry Place in Great Langdale after Jonathan inherited it as his family’s second generation farm. Last year, they came up with the idea of ââdiversifying the farm after a reduction in subsidies over the next six years could negatively impact them.
Read more: Lake District Alpaca Farm ranked as one of the world’s best attractions by TripAdvisor
The farm is a National Trust farm and the hope is that one day Nicola and Jonathan’s children will take over as a third generation tenant.
Nicola, Jonathan’s partner was also fired from her job during the pandemic and loved spending more time at home with her family.
Nicola explained: âJon has always been a farmer. He worked with the National Trust to get the hereditary trend and it could potentially pass to our children.
âOver the next six to seven years farm subsidies will be phased out and most of the Lake District farms survive on these subsidies.
âMy partner also works for many other farms. During the lockdown I was laid off and it was Jon who came up with the idea to make the farm more viable for years to come.
“So how could this lead us to a bigger farm, or how could it be more self-sufficient or it could pass to the kids and be an exit strategy for us.”
This is where they got the idea for luxury cabins for people to come and glamp. The couple worked closely with the National Trust to come up with this idea.
Nicola took the idea of ââplanning last year and was supported by the Lake District National Park Planning Authority.
They finally went live on July 23 and are now full until the end of October.
Nicola continued, âBeing able to work off the farm is amazing. It’s like a different world. Having the opportunity to take my kids to school and pick them up is amazing.
âTo have a business where you can make this work work is amazing. Getting out of a bad situation has become a great result.â
Jonathan and Nicola hope to be able to add more pods to the farm soon, they have approval for five but only have two operational at the moment.
Nicola said: âWe have had repeat bookings and it has been a huge success. A family left the other day and hadn’t even taken the road and had booked to stay again.
âThe bottom line is that this farm remains a working farm and we have this extra income to support the farm. It’s amazing.
âThe ultimate goal is to keep farmers in agriculture.
To learn more about Great Langdale Glamping, visit their website here.
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