Cumbrian farm to host showcase of sheep industry

The Northern Region of the National Sheep Association (NSA) has announced the return of NSA North Sheep, which will take place on Wednesday 4th June 2025.

The popular biennial event will be hosted by John and Liz Peile and their family at Greystoke Castle Farm, Greystoke, Penrith, Cumbria.

As one of the UK sheep industry’s most respected events NSA North Sheep will once again attract thousands of farmers from around the UK, organised by NSA Northern Region that manages activity in the counties of Cumbria, County Durham, Humberside, Lancashire, Northumberland and North and West Yorkshire.

The event will be a tremendous showcase of the UK sheep industry. Hundreds of trade stands will be attendance alongside breed societies and individual breeders. NSA North Sheep will give farmers and trade a huge opportunity to network, catch up and build relationships. Seminars and demonstrations throughout the day will offer insights on new developments within the industry and advice from industry professionals.

Young Farmers and local schools will also be invited with an aim to educate and encourage the next generation of farmers.

Always a popular feature of NSA events, the farm tours will offer a unique opportunity to see how the Peile family manage their quality livestock and extensive, diverse grazing land at their family run farm, with the added bonus of the stunning views stretching out over the Eden Valley.

On announcing details of the 2025 event, Ted Ogden, NSA Northern Region Chair, said, “NSA North Sheep is to return to Cumbria in 2025, and NSA Northern Region is pleased to announce that John and Liz Peile and family who farm at Greystoke Castle Farm are to be our hosts for this very exciting event.

“This hill farming operation comprises a dairy herd, beef cattle, a flock of hill sheep and self-replenishing lowland flock of Mule and Texel cross ewes making it a wonderful farm to visit, positioned nicely between The Lake District National Park and The Eden Valley, we are sure that visitors will find it a great venue where there will be an interesting array of seminars, workshops and trade stands to visit.”

The farm sits on the Greystoke Castle Estate on the edge of the picturesque Greystoke village. The entirety of the land is down to grass of which 700 acres is good grazing or mowing pasture. A further 1000 acres of grazing and 500 acres of rough grazing. All of which is in entry level or high level stewardship schemes.

The Peile Family took on farming Greystoke Castle Farm as contractors in 2013. For eight years they farmed successfully alongside the Howard family. In 2022 the opportunity arose for the Peiles to take on the full tenancy for 20 years. Since then, as part of their business, they have installed a new milking unit, milking 150 dairy cows. The milk is sold to First Milk and dairy young stock is sold at 20 months as big stores.

120 Limousin cross and Simmental cross suckler cows are put to Charolais and Limousin bulls with the calves being sold at around six months old as sucker calves. In addition, there are 60 Luing cows living outside all year round. The Luings are bulled with the Simmental with the heifers sold for breeding and the remainder sold as store cattle. All beef cows calve in the spring with the dairy cows calving all year round.

The sheep enterprise is self-sufficient, only buying in breeding tups. The flock comprises of 300 Swaledale ewes, breeding replacement Swaledales and North of England Mules. 600 North of England mules are tupped by a Texel, the ewe lambs are kept as replacements or sold for breeding at local marts. In additional there are 400 texel ewes kept to breed prime lambs.

Speaking on behalf of the family, John said, “We are delighted to be hosting NSA North Sheep and welcoming people from all areas of the sheep industry. We are looking forward to having the opportunity to share our passion for the environment and producing food sustainably”.

NSA members receive free entry to NSA North Sheep as part of their membership benefits. NSA is funded by its members and aims to play a key part in the sheep farming industry and ensure it represents the views and interests of sheep producers throughout the UK.

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