Upland farming expert Dr Lois Mansfield has secured a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to explore what lessons Britain can learn from the Far East.

Dr Mansfield was unveiled yesterday as one of 150 people from across the UK to be awarded a 2019 Churchill Fellowship.

It will allow Dr Mansfield, the director of the Ambleside campus of the University of Cumbria, to spend four weeks in Japan, learning more about Japan’s approach to rural development.

Dr Mansfield, who lives near Kirkby Stephen, said: “I’m honoured to receive this Churchill Fellowship.

“I’m going to look at the cultural capital in rural development of upland farming systems in Japan.

"This project is about making a difference to society and has real-life relevance."

Churchill Fellowships are awarded to people recognised as being qualified to go overseas to learn about issues affecting the UK.