RESPECTED farming family the Milbourns have been honoured with the prestigious Blamire Medal for services to agriculture in the old county of Cumberland.

The family, whose home is Walby Farm Park, on the outskirts of Carlisle, were awarded the monogrammed coin, at a special ceremony by trustee Heather Pritchard.

The Blamire Memorial Trust was formed 160 years ago in February 1862 in remembrance of William Blamire, who was a Cumberland Yeoman, member of Parliament, Enclosure Commissioner and all round supporter of farming in the county. Each year the Trustees consider nominations as potential recipients of the award.

This anniversary of the Trust was celebrated last year with a special service within Carlisle Cathedral and brought together some of the past recipients to celebrate this occasion.

Neil and Katie Milbourn and their three daughters – Holly, Izzie and Liv, run Walby Farm Park along with ‘Team Walby’.

The Milbourn family first came to the farm back in 1928 and there were no tractors on the farm, the land was worked with Clydesdale horses.

The family farm is built on top of the line of Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, just outside Carlisle. It lies in the Solway basin one mile from the River Eden.

It was back in 2006, Neil and Katie made the decision to diversify the family business and open a farm visitor attraction, and two years later Walby Farm Park officially opened to the public. Today their farm is made up of 450 acres of land which includes a 30 acre area for the farm park.

"Walby Farm Park is always a hive of activity for fun and adventure and is a great learning experience for our next generation. As we look around today we can see the huge amount of hard work, effort and thought which has gone into establishing this educational centre – the crops which are grown for livestock, and the conservation work with the native trees at Jubilee Wood on the nature trail. It is not just cattle and sheep here at Walby Farm Park, there are also pigs, goats and alpacas," said Mrs Pritchard.

Just over 10 years ago Walby became the first Approved Conservation Centre for the Rare Breeds Survival Trust based in Cumbria.

They also use social media to reach out to the general public.