SMALL farm businesses throughout Yorkshire and the Durham Dales are invited to take part in the second year of the £1.5 million successful Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme.

Run by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, the programme provides free business support, skills and planning tuition, and one-to-one guidance to small livestock and mixed family farm businesses.

The programme, which is looking for 20 farmers from each of the two areas, is now inviting applications. The closing date is October 31.

Feedback from farms who took part in the first year was overwhelmingly positive.

A Northumberland farmer said: “I’d definitely recommend the programme to others – it’s made us more focused. It provides a series of stimulating debates, and there’s great discussion in the group.

“Hearing the ways other people ran their farms was fantastic, and with help from The Prince’s Countryside Fund we’ve now established our own local network, which is great when farming can be so isolating.”

Farmers are given the skills to evaluate their viability and make informed decisions about the future by using the Business Health Check Tool. The programme also brings together like-minded family farm enterprises in local networks so they can review their current activity, and identify opportunities and improvements that can be made on-farm to build resilience.

Claire Saunders, director of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “The skills training and expert advice provided by the programme helps farmers to cope with the many challenges that their businesses face, and allows them to plan for the future more confidently.”

Interested Durham Dales farmers should contact Diane Spark at UTASS, on 01883 641010 or or visit

Those in Yorkshire should contact Maddy Fitzgerald on 020 7566 8797 or or visit