LAND ROVER AND THE PRINCE’S COUNTRYSIDE FUND LEAD DRIVE FOR SUCCESS IN YOUNG FARMING WITH 2016 VEHICLE BURSARY

Land Rover and The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) have announced the five winners of their 2016 bursary, which offers a year’s loan of a Land Rover Discovery Sport vehicle to support young people in the development of their countryside careers.

The winning entrants, including 21-year-old Lewis Steer, who runs a rare breed wool business and 28-year-old Steven Holmes, founder of a new microbrewery in Lancaster, were selected for their entrepreneurial spirit and passion for making a difference within their rural community.

The five winners were awarded the vehicles at Loseley Park in Surrey alongside vehicle handling training from Land Rover Experience to prepare them for all terrains and weather conditions, and teach them about the vehicle’s range of on and off-road features and towing capabilities.

Land Rover has supported The Prince's Countryside Fund since 2013, contributing to the Fund's grant giving programme in addition to the annual bursary scheme. The Land Rover Discovery Sport is the world’s most versatile compact SUV providing beneficiaries with seven seats, towing capability of 2.2 tonnes and Land Rover’s legendary Terrain Response making it capable whatever the weather or terrain.

One winner, Ashley Stamper, 24, Contract Hill Shepherd said, “The loan of the Land Rover Discovery Sport is going to really boost my ambition to become a self-employed shepherdess. Coming from a family of beauticians, setting up in agriculture and generating capital has been challenging, however the more I am able to travel around and build a reputation for myself, the more successful I will be. I’m really excited for the year ahead and to get my trailer licence, making my work more efficient and a lot more enjoyable!”

Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director said, “We are really excited to announce the five winners of this year’s bursary with The Prince’s Countryside Fund. UK farming is a crucial part of our economy and the breadth of different careers our winners are carving for themselves demonstrates just how important diversification is becoming for young people to prosper in the industry. They are also showing other young people that farming is an exciting, multi-dimensional career choice. We hope that each one of them will truly benefit from the loan of the Discovery Sport, with the vehicle and the savings made on other transport costs, helping to take their projects to the next level.”

Claire Saunders, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We’re delighted to be able to support five ambitious young people who are making huge strides in their rural careers. These entrepreneurs are great ambassadors for young people making a difference in their rural communities. Our partnership with Land Rover has provided a great opportunity for people who live and work in the countryside and everyone involved with The Prince’s Countryside Fund is excited to follow their journey this year and see the difference these vehicles can make.”

The 2016 Prince’s Countryside Fund Land Rover Bursary list of winners includes:

Lewis Steer, 21, Lily Warne Wool, Chudleigh, Devon: Alongside studying Rural Estate and Land Management at The Royal Agricultural University, Lewis runs his own wool business, taking sheared wool from his flock of rare breed Greyface Dartmoor sheep. Lewis, who does not come from a farming background, shears his flock by hand and takes his fleece to the local wool mill where it is spun into yarn before returning to the farm. Lewis’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for agriculture has led to some exciting business opportunities. His Lily Warne Wool (named after his great great grandmother) is one of the only in the country to carry out the entire woollen process ‘from farm to yarn’, and focuses on reconnecting people with British Wool. He will use the Land Rover Discovery Sport for his day-to-day shepherding, moving the sheep between rented land and to access other farms to buy wool and skins through the co-operative he has set up, supporting other local farmers to gain more from their stock.

Steven Holmes, 28, Farm Yard Ales, Cockerham, Lancaster: Based on his family’s farm in Lancaster, Steven is doing something truly different within agriculture. He is in the early stages of creating a new microbrewery enterprise on the farm, which will be erected this summer. Steven is passionate about supporting other small enterprises and once trading, plans to support other independent breweries through a system known as cask swapping. This is a co-operative process that involves sending full casks to other breweries who then sell on your behalf, allowing each breweries product to travel further and sell on a national level. The casks are then returned full and the process is reciprocated, reducing the logistical costs of collecting empty casks. Steven will use the vehicle to pull a flatbed trailer to assist with deliveries and collections of the craft beer in and around Lancashire in the early stages of his start-up business, whilst conveying the British farming heritage behind Farm Yard Ales.

Ashley Stamper, 24, Contract Hill Shepherd, Northumberland: Ashley, who lives and studies Agriculture in Edinburgh, is a contract hill shepherd working in Northumberland covering 9,000 acres of land. Breaking away from the family beauty business, Ashley is paving her own career in sheep farming, taking on tasks including lambing, dosing, crutching, and foot trimming. Her dream is to one day be a self-employed contract shepherdess. Ashley will use the Land Rover Discovery Sport to transport her sheepdogs and feed down farm tracks that are inaccessible in her current car. She plans to get her trailer licence during the course of the year and use the vehicle to tow livestock for farmers within her community.

Helen Reeve, 34, Dairy Farmer from Alburgh, Harleston: Helen works full time on a dairy herd, looking after over 300 Jersey cows, which involves milking, calf rearing and cleaning. As well as this, she owns her own herd of pedigree Dexter cattle that are reared for breeding and beef production. In her spare time, Helen is a member of a number of clubs and societies and uses her experience to give talks and presentations to various groups about her chosen profession and life as a young female farmer and is committed to helping young people understand more about the career opportunities available in farming and agriculture. Helen will use the vehicle to transport feed for the cattle through tricky terrains and across dirt tracks in her area. She will also use it to transport the cattle themselves which she is currently unable to do in her current compact vehicle.

Tomos Evans, 29, Sheep Farmer from Carmarthen, Wales: The retirement of Tomos’s parents led him to take up the family farming business and continue to lead their livestock enterprise. Since 2012, he has developed a successful flock of pedigree Texel sheep, pedigree Coloured Ryelands, Black Limouosins and 150 Welsh Mules. Tomos is a member of the South Wales Texel Club and currently Vice Chairman and a member of the Royal Welsh Show's Youth Forum. Tomos will use the Land Rover Discovery Sport to access his rented land in eight different locations and to tow the animals from field to field for grazing, as well as to shows and sales.

Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director said, “We are really excited to announce the five winners of this year’s bursary with The Prince’s Countryside Fund. UK farming is a crucial part of our economy and the breadth of different careers our winners are carving for themselves demonstrates just how important diversification is becoming for young people to prosper in the industry. They are also showing other young people that farming is an exciting, multi-dimensional career choice. We hope that each one of them will truly benefit from the loan of the Discovery Sport, with the vehicle and the savings made on other transport costs, helping to take their projects to the next level.”

Claire Saunders, director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We’re delighted to be able to support five ambitious young people who are making huge strides in their rural careers. These entrepreneurs are great ambassadors for young people making a difference in their rural communities. Our partnership with Land Rover has provided a great opportunity for people who live and work in the countryside and everyone involved with The Prince’s Countryside Fund is excited to follow their journey this year and see the difference these vehicles can make.”

Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Registered office: Abbey Road, Whitley, Coventry CV3 4LF. Registered in England No: 1672070

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