Extensive forestry training now on offer at Holmfirth company thanks to a grant from South Pennines’ LEADER programme
A specialist independent land-based training provider for the forestry industry and beyond will be able to extend its training provision thanks to new hi-spec equipment.
T Kirk Forestry, of Holmfirth will take delivery of a Valtra Tractor and a Junkkari Trailer this month. These have been purchased, in part, with the help of grant funding provided through the South Pennines’ LEADER programme, which is designed to boost local rural businesses.
Both pieces of equipment have been adapted for use in the forest to allow trainers to instruct professionals, from the land based industries using the most appropriate and up-to-date equipment.
Tim Kirk, founder and partner of T Kirk Forestry, explained why the equipment was so important. “This tractor and trailer are designed and manufactured to operate in the forest, which is a difficult environment. Many places are hard to access with normal vehicles. They will allow us to extend our forestry machinery operations training.
“Holme Styes Wood is a 136-hectare commercial forest that we manage through the delivery of training. With this land, the very best equipment and fully qualified trainers we can offer a complete training package,” Tim added.
Tim established T Kirk Forestry in 1992. Since then the business has expanded and diversified in to the delivery of training to the land based industry, it has six full-time employees and works with over 50 associated training instructors throughout the country. Through this training people achieve nationally recognised qualifications and go on to become foresters, tree surgeons and to have careers in the land based sector.
T Kirk Forestry offers a wide range of land-based training courses from safe use of pesticides, safe use of chainsaws, aerial tree work to tractor driving, they work closely with utility companies, fire and police forces. T Kirk Forestry is also an approved provider of training, designed specifically for members of the Armed Forces.
The South Pennines LEADER programme, which is managed by Pennine Prospects, is available to support rural businesses in the South Pennines area. Applications are still being accepted for the programme, which has a total budget of £1,269,000. Eligible projects must be fully approved and contracted by February 2019 so applications need to be made in the next few months.
The programme is designed to offer support to increase farm productivity, as well as support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification, rural tourism, the provision of rural services, support for cultural and heritage activity and for increasing forestry productivity. Grants can be awarded for up to 40% of the cost of a project. There is a handbook and guidance notes available on the How to Apply section of this website.
Camping Cabins offer Glamping Glamour in the Holme Valley thanks to a grant from the South Pennines LEADER programme
Glamorous camping, or glamping, is all the rage; campers can enjoy outdoor living without foregoing their home comforts in beautiful wooden camping cabins, kitted out with electricity, lighting and heating.
Holme Valley Camping and Caravan Park now boasts five camping cabins, four of which sleep five, sited in a meadow surrounded by woodland. The fifth, adjacent to the caravan site’s pond, sleeps three and has its own en-suite shower room.
Built in Derbyshire by Arctic Cabins, these camping cabins have been purchased, in part, with the help of grant funding provided through the South Pennines’ LEADER programme, which is designed to boost local rural businesses.
Formerly the site of a derelict mill Holme Valley Camping and Caravan Park is a family run business established in 1986 by Philip and Hazel Peaker. Six years ago daughter, Naomi, and her husband, Ben Humphreys, joined the business, and their three young children help out during their summer holidays.
The camping cabins have already proved a success, despite the Beast from the East, explained Ben: “The cabins arrived during that really cold weather. It wasn’t easy getting them in situ with snow on the ground but everyone worked really hard and we managed it. We had our first bookings over Easter and we’re now taking bookings for the summer too.
“The cabins are ideal for people who camp in the summer but who would prefer a bit more comfort during the winter or those who don’t like the idea of camping in a tent at any time of the year. Two of the cabins are also dog friendly,” Ben continued.
“As all the cabins have electricity, lighting and heating people can really make themselves at home. They also have a small kitchenette, with a hob, microwave and fridge and we provide pots, pans and cooking utensils. People just have to bring their own bedding.
“We have customers who travel to stay with us and we have locals who just like to stay here to get away from it all. It’s a semi-rural site set in 16 acres of woodland and meadows, with a mill pond and the river. We strive to make our site as green as possible, as well as protecting local wildlife and habitats,” added Ben.
RUMPUS IS NOW OPEN!
In addition to the award-winning Longhorn burgers the Rumpus Burger Bar sells burgers made from the family’s Limousine-cross herd, also grazing the fields in the Colne Valley; land which has been farmed by the Garside family since 1904. And it’s bringing prosperity to the village too. The Rumpus Burger Bar has already provided local employment, with expansion plans now in the pipeline.
The former public conveniences were transformed into the Rumpus Burger Bar thanks in part to funding from the South Pennines LEADER programme, which is available to support rural businesses in the South Pennines area. Applications are still being accepted for the programme, which has a budget of £1,269,000. It runs until 2019 and is managed by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects.
The Garsides are a farming family in Slaithwaite. The farm has been run by 3 generations of the family for over 100 years, and they were looking for ways to ensure that the farm would stay with the family for the next 100, especially as the younger generation are now approaching working age and looking for ways to be involved in the family business.
The farm breeds longhorn cattle which produce meat that is well-known for its flavour and tenderness, and this is primarily sold wholesale to butchers.
Over recent years the Garsides have also created a burger recipe using their own meat which was awarded a Bronze medal at the EBLEX awards. When they produced and sold the burgers the response was phenomenal; they sold over 2000 burgers in the 3 day Tour de Yorkshire weekend. They went on to sell the burgers locally at country shows, and again sold out every time, with requests to be able to buy the meat and burgers all year round from the public.
They realised that their product had promise and started looking at how and where they could develop it. They decided to invest in the local area by opening an Artisan burger bar and knew that Slaithwaite had a growing food tourism industry, so decided to create a new and vibrant business in the village.
They applied for LEADER funding to provide up to 40% of the eligible costs, working hard to gather the evidence needed to justify this investment from the programme. This helped them to hone their business planning; really thinking about potential turnover and what jobs this could create for the area as well as how they could market the burgers.
In September 2016 their application was approved and they were awarded 40% of their project costs, contributing a further 60% themselves. Work started on the building in November 2016, with the business planning to open in the spring of 2017. The burger bar will create 4 new jobs; 2 part-time chefs and 2 apprentices. In addition to these ‘hard’ outcomes the burger bar will represent a new opportunity for the family; providing a retail outlet for their high quality meat and creating diversification which will improve sustainability for the next generation, whilst also adding to the tourism offer of the local area.
CRIB FARM DAIRY
Old Crib Farm is a traditional Dairy Farm in Calderdale which has been providing milk for over 80 years, and is now run by brothers Frank and John Hitchen. The milk is processed and packaged on-site before being delivered to the public by independent rounds-men, as well as to schools, care homes and local businesses. By retailing directly in this way the farm has been able to remain profitable and sustainable in today’s difficult trading environment. This has also allowed them to buy milk at a fair price from other local dairy farmers, ensuring their sustainability too. Building further on this point of difference they got involved with the ‘180 day Pasture Promise’ which is about being a free-range dairy and raising awareness that not all milk is the same.
However, the milking parlour had been installed around 20 years ago and was now out of date as well as working to full capacity. They realised that by investing in more innovative products they would be able to increase production and extend the shelf-life of the milk; something that customers were asking for. They also wanted to produce their own butter, which would then be unique to the Calder Valley.
They applied to the LEADER programme for a grant to allow them to relocate the dairy into a new building and for a new cleaning and bottling system to increase production as well as the equipment needed to produce butter in-house.
They provided a very strong case, going to great lengths to demonstrate the demand for their products, including surveying their customers, and in October 2016 they were awarded a grant towards the cost of the project. Work will start in early December and the new milking parlour will be operational in early 2017, helping to deliver locally produced milk to local people for the next 80 years!