Gavin Bland

West Head, Thirlmere

Gavin's farm extends for 4000 acres, beyond the farmstead at the southern end of Thirlmere to the heights of Helvellyn in the east, and Ullscarf in the west. He moved to this farm with his parents when he was ten and manages it today as a tennant of United Utilities.

In this picture, taken after gathering sheep from Helvellyn one June morning, Gavin is standing second from the left. He's with his two sons, his wife, his father, and his brother Peter, with his son.

Gavin Bland has been showing us the ins and outs of hill farming over the last two years (Rob can vouch for Gavin's legendary speed when gathering). His stories and thoughts, and our reflections, have formed a major part of our growing understanding of what it means to be a farmer in the Lake District. We have also walked parts of the land - and his flock's hefts - on our own, and camped in the hills high above his farm. Our experiences have featured in our blogs, and have helped in the formation of the final Land Keepers exhibition.

Bland Family best

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