Alistair Birkett

Birkett Mire, St John's in the Vale


Alistair, standing on the right here beside his three sons, took this farm on from his father, whose father was here before him - so many generations of the Birkett family have farmed here, they have become an integral part of the land.

The Birkett Mire sheep graze on the western flanks of the Dodds, which look towards the dramatic slopes of Blencathra and Skiddaw. There are also cattle on the farm.

When I ask Alistair what qualities he thinks are needed for a person to farm here in the uplands:

'You gotta be born and fetched on the land, eh, or if not, work a farm for four or five years first.'

Farming is in Alistair's blood and it will carry on through the family. Alistair's oldest son, Dan (pictured left) is very hands on. He knows the farm - its business and its practice - inside out. 'It doesn't pay, but I wouldn't do anything else,' he tells us.

Alistair Birkett best

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