A new farm visitor centre has opened near Kendal offering guests an ‘authentic’ experience.

At the heart of Lakeland Farm Visitor Centre, located in Ings, near Kendal, is Isaac Benson, wife Kerrie, and their children. 

Mr Benson, 47, said they had set up the visitor centre to “give farms a bit more of a voice in terms of what it is that we do, and why we do what we do” and to “show people the role that livestock play in shaping and maintaining the world heritage site.”

He added that setting up the centre, on which construction began in February, cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, with some of the money being provided by a LEADER grant; an EU-funded scheme that provides money to various rural projects. 

People can book online to try their hand at a spot of dry stone walling or wool spinning, or to attend a show in the main arena, where demonstrations will change depending on the season - examples include shearing and the sewing of a ‘chastity belt’ on to a sheep. 

There is also a farm shop, an on-site butchers and a café all offering Cumbrian produce, as well as the farm’s own products,

According to Mr Benson, the capacity of Lakeland Farm to educate the public on the role of livestock is particularly important, given what he describes as a “wall of environmentalism” in recent times - with pressure on farmers to reduce sheep numbers.

Mr Benson has already had to do some destocking of sheep. 

He said: “It’s just not the narrative that was given when securing world heritage site status.”