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Network sets up group to help micro-farming

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

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EXMOOR'S Hill Farming Network is setting up a support group for small scale farmers.

It is for people wanting to run profitable businesses from their land and livestock, possibly as a second income.

The newly appointed network officer, Katherine Williams, has organised the group's launch for a fortnight's time with author and micro-farmer Simon Dawson as the guest speaker.

Katherine said potential members were those who faced particular challenges in small-scale operations and could benefit from working together to maximise efficiency and profitability.

Simon runs a 20 acre micro-farm, Hidden Valley Pigs, and is the author of Pigs In Clover. He offers courses in how to operate a small holding, using his experience rearing Exmoor sheep, hens and poultry, turkeys, geese, lambs and registered free-range Berkshire pigs. The farm has no electricity or mains water; the animals drink from a local spring and from the West Lyn River.

The launch of the micro farming group is on Thursday, May 15 at 7.30pm at The Old Station House Inn, Blackmoor Gate. A free buffet supper will be provided and booking is essential through the Exmoor Hill Farming Network Office 01643 841455 or KWilliams@ northdevonplus.co.uk.

The network was formerly the Exmoor Hill Farm Project and has been rebranded with the aim to be farmer-led using networking and funding opportunities.

Katherine is from Exmoor and her family farms at Withypool.

She will be working four days a week, aiming to operate from the Wheddon Cross office between 9.30 and 2pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays but said she could be flexible if there were meetings or activities on Thursdays.

The network is being supported during 2014 by the Prince's Countryside Fund and RDPE Transition funds from Defra and the European Union.

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