Uncertainty facing farmers has been highlighted with the unveiling of plans to secure two families’ income by launching a glamping holidays venture featuring African safari-style tents in a North Yorkshire field.
Plans seeking to change the use of part of a 430-acre farm south of Skeeby, near Richmond to site six 7m by 5.4m tents have been lodged with Richmondshire District Council.
An agent for Union House Farm said while the farm grows a range of crops, in common with other farms in today’s climate it “faces a number of challenges associated with an uncertain future and volatile costs, fluctuating labour costs and importantly, availability”.
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The proposal comes as the Country Land and Business Association has suggested farms and rural businesses should assess ways to “broaden their horizons” and explore other avenues of income, particularly in the light of looming changes to subsidies and trading relationships after Brexit.
The Union House Farm agent said: “The applicant currently relies entirely on agriculture for a principle income from the land, with an increasing reliance on contracting.
“Coupled with this, the main partner in the business is reaching an age where he would like to reduce the time spent on the farm, and his son would therefore like to move to the area, increase his involvement and ensure there is sufficient income from the business to support two families and the future succession of the farming business.”
The application states the holidays venture would increase the viability of the farm and create local employment for its partners, family and local people and support local firms such as Mainsgill Farm Shop and the Black Bull, Moulton.
It is understood the plan is due to be considered by the authority.