The Valley Talks: Ethical & Sustainable Farm Diversification with
John Atkinson & Maria Benjamin


Friday 15th October, 6.00pm – 7.00pm
£5.00 per person, each ticket includes a discount voucher for The Stable Bar

About the Event



Seeking a new approach that would future-proof Nibthwaite Grange Farm, in 2015 John Atkinson and Maria Benjamin made the decision to put their energy into a series of relevant micro-businesses that would run alongside and enhance the work they do on the farm.

Embracing an old school small-scale mixed farm model Dodgson Wood is now a thriving rural enterprise running direct meat sales to private customers and restaurants, selling breeding animals to other farmers, off-grid, eco holidays, wool and Jersey milk soap. At one time, small family mixed farms were the norm, and it is only in more recent years that farming has specialised and intensified to its detriment. Monocultures can look impressive but they can be fragile. 

Join us at The Farmer’s Arms to hear more about Maria and John’s journey, its ups and downs, challenges and achievments.

Tickets are £5.00 per person and include refreshments on arrival and a discount voucher to be used in The Stable Bar after the talk. 

Advanced booking is essential. Book Here.

About the Speakers: 

John Atkinson has farmed Nibthwaite Grange Farm his whole life, taking over from his father aged 20. It is primarily a beef and sheep farm but since his partner Maria joined him on the farm in 2015, their business has diversified and expanded. John worked for the National Trust for 25 years alongside running his farm. He is now a trustee of the Rare Breed Survival Trust.

Maria Benjamin is from Scotland but lived in London where she gained a Masters Degree in Fine Art. Since joining John on his farm, she has put her energy into making the most of what the farm produces in an ethical and sustainable way, developing the diversification side of the business.