THE new chairman for the NSA Northern region is Northumberland farmer Adam Watson who succeeds Geoff Lawn of Skipton.

The Watson family moved to Sanders Close, Slaggyford, Brampton, from a local farm in the late 1960s.

Sanders Close is a 586ha (1,450 acres) hill farm running from about 213m (700ft) to 594m (1,950ft) above sea level.

The family team is made up of father, William, and sons Adam and Nigel. The farm is split between about 404ha (1,000 acres) moor and 182ha (450acres) lower land.

Sheep are about 900 Swaledale ewes of which 500 are put to Bluefaced Leicester tups to breed North of England Mule gimmer lambs for sale.

The rest of the Swaledales are bred pure for hill flock replacements.

There is also a small pedigree Bluefaced Leicester flock of about 20 breeding ewes primarily to breed tups for home use.

The farm is also home to the Saunders pedigree Limousin herd.

Mr Watson, who is also chairman of the organising committee for North Sheep 2013, said: “I believe there is solid long-term future for livestock farming in upland areas helped by environmental payments but one of the key issues is encouraging and keeping young people in these areas.

“The population is increasing, there will never be any more land and different types of farming will concentrate in areas best suited to them. I think we will see beef and sheep here in the uplands and the lowlands used more and more for arable including cereals and dairying.”

Vice-chairman is Greg Dalton of South Wellhop, Weardale, and Eddie Eastham is treasurer.