A History of Greenlands Farm Village
There has been habitation on this site since before the sixteenth century, with it sitting alongside what was the main road to Scotland long before the romans arrived.
Up until the early seventeen hundreds this was the site of a watermill taking its power from white beck stream.
The farm house was built in the early seventeen hundreds as a pub, which served the adjacent road to Scotland.
In 1751 a new toll road was constructed making this section of the road not used. However the pub still functioned beyond the 1850 census. The farm was originally developed as a stud farm providing work horses.
Greenlands Farm Background
In January 2012 the Mason family had farmed at Greenlands farm for 38 years.
Greenlands is the third farm that the family have farmed, the first being Far Audlands farm at Gatebeck , near Kendal and the second Cotestones farm, at Warton.
The movement from farm to farm has enabled the business to increase the number of livestock they farm, and improve the quality of land that was farmed.
At Greenlands we milked 130 Holstein cattle, reared 200 young stock and lambed over 600 sheep.
The business was a partnership of Mr C.L.Mason, his wife Anne and their son Roger until Mrs Mason passed away in 2005.
Due to ill health Mr Mason senior had not been actively involved in the running of the farm since 2002. This had meant that the labour force consisted of Roger and two fulltime members of staff.
Due to the declining profitability of the farm business, the cost of labour and the fact that Rogers family did not wish to follow him into an agricultural career, Roger took the decision in 2003 to look into the options for diversifying the farm business. This process culminated in planning permission being given in August 2005 for a café, farm shop and open farm attraction.
The concept being to provide a fun environment; where families could learn where their food came from, have a nice meal, and buy locally produced food as well as that grown on the farm. To the original planning application further changes of use were added a later to include a wine shop, plant centre and soft play activity barn so as to broaden the site’s appeal.
Conversion started at the end of 2006 and the site opened for business on the 28th of March 2009.
Meanwhile in regards to the conventional farming activities; milking ceased in February 2007 as was always anticipated and the farm has continued as a sheep farm, whilst letting some of its land off to neighboring farmers. Leasing land to other farmers enabled them to expand their activities, whilst at the same time reduced the acres Roger had to farm and manage.
‘Greenlands Farm Village’ has since it opened, become a popular destination, both for ‘locals’ and for those ‘holidaying’ in the area, and because of the mixture of activities available it is visited by people of all ages and with a wide range of interests. It has however stayed true to the original concept of ‘showcasing’ all things relating to farming and the countryside and the crafts involved.
Not only does it provide an important outlet for those producing food products and crafts but it also provides full and part-time employment for over 50 local people.
Due to the sites location, facilities and popularity the management at Greenlands were often approached by people who have either established businesses elsewhere or are looking to start a new business’ and would like to move to, or setup at the site. In the past the answer has always had to be that there was nowhere suitable nor was there planning permission for such use. Therefore Greenlands Country Barn was created, to house businesses such as Fawcetts, Northern Archery, Woodcock & Snipe etc.
Greenlands Farm Village is going from strength to strength, and has exceeded Roger’s original vision for the open farm. The rest as they say, is history!