Much of our land is managed on our behalf by tenant farmers, who do a great job of handling it in a way that supports our water quality and environmental goals.

The Lancashire-born couple, both from farming backgrounds, have big plans to bring the community into their venture.

Through our Sustainable Catchment Management Programme (SCaMP) and Catchment Systems Thinking (CaST) approach we have a long history of protecting and enhancing the water environment, with wildlife and biodiversity enhancement as key drivers.

During the year, Bradleys Farm, a 103-acre smallholding on the edge of Rivington Village, became vacant and our land management team decided to package the farm as an exciting opportunity, suitable for young farmers interested in a ‘starter farm’.

The farm sits within the West Pennine Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest and is included in the Government’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme to promote environmentally beneficial management.

Following enquiries from all over the country and lots of interesting ideas as to how the farm could be run, the farm has been let to Arron Parker and his partner Gemma Coar. The Lancashire-born couple, both from farming backgrounds, have big plans to bring the community into their venture.

They’re planning to organise walks and provide educational visits for the public on farming, conservation, ecology and water quality as the farm is a gateway site for the main Rivington reservoirs and associated recreational walks.

"An added aim of our management of the farm is to maintain and improve areas for visitors to enjoy”, said Gemma. “As tenants, we have these goals at the forefront of our farming enterprise and land management proposals.”

Arron and Gemma can’t wait to get started: “We both worked closely alongside my parents at their family farm for many years”, said Gemma, “but have always dreamed of managing our own family farm. This is our dream come true. We’re able to manage our own farm, close to family and friends, in the beautiful area of Rivington. Our children can grow up in a wonderful place of open space and countryside and we have our lives ahead to plan, enjoy and grow.”