Refugees lend a hand with lambing.  

April 27, 2018

Each spring we team up with local farmer Rodney Beresford to deliver a series of hands-on lambing days in the Yorkshire Dales for disadvantaged groups from across Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The groups learn the ropes of hill sheep farming, helping Rodney with herding, tagging and marking new-born lambs on his farm at the foot of Ingleborough.

Watch the Video by Spencer Stokes, BBC Look North

Refugees from DARE get a taste of farming life in the Yorkshire Dales.

Michael Devlin, our new Development Manager, had this to say about the lambing days out that are helping refugee and asylum seekers to connect with the beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside.

“Seeing the work of YDMT first hand was fantastic and to meet Rodney Beresford, a Yorkshire sheep farmer who has been working with YDMT for over a decade, was a real inspiration. With Rodney’s support over the years we’ve reached over a thousand people, many of whom are refugees or asylum seekers from places like Kuwait, Somalia and Nigeria, giving them a special experience which helps boost their mental health and confidence.”

“To meet people from all over the world who have fled from their homes to escape violence and persecution is very humbling. They want to work hard, get involved and make new lives for themselves but are often stuck in limbo waiting for years for their refugee status to be granted.”

Crossing divides

That’s why being away from it all in the countryside, and doing something practical to support a local farmer can be an empowering and memorable experience. Farmer Rodney also gets some much-needed help during a busy time, and often learns a thing or two from his helpers.

“It is surprising how many farmers from different countries come and help you learn something,” “It is one of the best things I’ve done over the years. It genuinely makes a difference” Rodney said.

Farmer Rodney Beresford welcomes a refugee group to his farm in Ingleborough

The group that joined us on this day out were from Darwen Asylum Seekers and Refugee Enterprise (DARE) – who we’ve worked with for many years. The group included people who have been in Britain for a few months and others who have been waiting to hear about their application to stay for years.

Somalian refugee Habib Mohammed Saeed said “When I see a place like this I remember home and it makes me very happy,” “This is my kind of work.”

About the scheme

These sessions are delivered through our People and the DALES and Ingleborough for All projects and aim to provide active and thought-provoking activities for groups of people who are currently under-represented in the countryside.

Donate £20 today and help give two disadvantaged people a life-changing experience like this.