MP learns of ‘Beyond Nature’ vision at farm

Humberstone Bank Farm tenant Jonathan Grayshon, Paul Carter and Lisa Harrowsmith of Yorkshire Water with Julian Smith MP.
Humberstone Bank Farm tenant Jonathan Grayshon, Paul Carter and Lisa Harrowsmith of Yorkshire Water with Julian Smith MP.

A tenant farmer in the Nidderdale area had a visit from a leading dignitary last week.

Humberstone Bank Farm tenant Jonathan Grayshon spoke to Julian Smith MP during his visit.

The farm, in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is being farmed sustainably to protect water quality, wildlife biodiversity, peat moorland and improve carbon storage.

Mr Grayshon and representatives from land owners Yorkshire Water talked about their shared vision for the 900-hectare farm with the Skipton and Ripon MP.

Mr Smith was told that Yorkshire Water decided to take a ‘Beyond Nature’ approach to managing the farm when the previous tenants of 80 years advised they were retiring.

Lisa Harrowsmith, lead surveyor from Yorkshire Water, said that while protecting the quality of the water flowing off the land and into their reservoirs remains the primary requirement for their catchment land, the ‘Beyond Nature’ approach recognises that this land has the potential to add significant value to society, communities, customers and stakeholders.

Using the farm as a trial area for new approaches to catchment, moorland and sustainable land management it’s hoped to demonstrate that improved water quality, biodiversity and carbon storage can be delivered while still supporting grouse and grazing enterprises.

Julian Smith MP said: “I was very interested to see how the partnership between Jonathan and Yorkshire Water has the potential to combine traditional livestock farming practices with an increased focus on protecting our beautiful environment.

“This is a very important time for the agricultural sector, as it looks to the future and the ways it can become more sustainable and so I welcome the work being undertaken here by Jonathan and Yorkshire Water. It is also great for our rural community to see a young person being given the chance to run their own farm.”