Peak District study trip to showcase innovative upland stock practices

A two-day study trip hosted by Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is offering upland farmers the opportunity to learn about innovative approaches to managing the uplands with livestock.

The study tour will visit upland farms in the Peak District, England, and will focus on farming systems which include moorland management and grazing livestock to help maintain this range of unique habitats.

This tour is part of the Farm Innovation Visits Scheme, which is being delivered by DAERA’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).


The tour will include visits to several progressive upland farms where grazing is fundamental to the management of the uplands. The areas of innovation studied will include:

  • Managing uplands primarily with grazing livestock;
  • Benefits of mixed grazing;
  • Re-introduction of winter grazing onto upland areas;
  • Different heather management techniques followed by grazing to maintain habitat condition;
  • Innovative approaches to increasing wildfire resilience using livestock;
  • The use of virtual fencing to assist with the management of large upland areas.

The group will leave from Northern Ireland on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, and return on Wednesday, October 16, 2019.

The tour will be led by CAFRE beef and sheep technologist Graeme Campbell and CAFRE sheep technologist Dr. Eileen McCloskey.

How to apply

Applications are invited from one member or employee of the farm business who is actively farming SDA land with at least 150 breeding females (including ewe lambs) or 20 beef bred suckler cows, who is over 18 years old on the application closing date and not in full-time education.

Upland farmers who are interested in participating in this study tour can find out more details and complete the online application here on the CAFRE website.

Applications are open already and close at 4:00pm on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

To increase the benefits arising from the study tour all applicants must identify a group of farmers to share their findings with upon their return. A total of 16 places are available and these will be allocated on a competitive basis.

The Farm Innovation Visit Scheme, which is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and part-funded by the EU, will cover the costs associated with setting up the visit, accommodation, travel outside of Northern Ireland, and meals when in Great Britain.

Participants will be expected to meet any additional costs, including farm relief and travel insurance.