Farmstream: Pilot Community Project

As what is one of the busiest times of the year for the farming community comes towards its end, we thought we would reflect on the goings on at Farmstream HQ as the business rolls into its second year. A project we have been working on, and are excited to share details of, is a collaboration with one of our local young famers.

This comes partly from a successful first year in business, and coming into our second year, we not only are looking for ways to improve and expand the business, but we are also looking for ways in which we can incorporate and work alongside our local community. This is important to us as a company as co-founders Eddie and Callum both grew up in the local area and are keen to invest into a community that has shaped them as individuals.

In the launch of a pilot scheme, and what we hope will be an exciting partnership further down the line, we contacted a local young farmer asking if they would be interested in sponsorship from our company for 12 months with the use of a 4G 360 Degree Camera and associated running costs. Katrina Kennedy kindly accepted our offer and after a hasty delivery of the camera in the last week of March (when her lambing season was kicking off), we were able to catch up with her a few weeks later, after the bulk of the lambing had taken place (roughly 70 of their 600 ewes still to lamb).

The camera itself had been situated at couple of meters off the ground at one end of one of their polytunnels (approx. 30mx8m). This space is used to lamb their cross gimmer twins and all ewes with triplets and, when space is available, their Cheviot twins.

Although the tunnel is a maximum of 100m from the farmhouse, this location is a good 200m above sea level and as Katrina mentioned, you know when a North wind is blowing. Asking about her experience with the camera so far - amongst an in-depth discussion regarding the ewes themselves – she mentioned that the camera is used less during the day but comes into its own overnight. Being able to watch the tunnel from the house is a big help. When the weather is bad, you only want to be going out to the tunnel when you have a genuine concern and absolutely have to. Although an isolated job to begin with – Katrina barely noticed the beginning of lockdown in March 2020 – the cancellation of summer shows and winter dances mean that farming has been tougher than usual over the past year and so, it has been very positive to hear that the camera has made a work-intensive time of year just a little more comfortable.

In the coming weeks, Katrina advised the camera will stay in place to keep watch over the last of the lambing and then to monitor the pet lambs and those who do not do so well out in the fields. Then, there is talk of moving the camera to a position where it can keep watch over a public footpath which runs 150m from the house up the hill. With an increase in dog attacks and thefts in the area, we are hoping the added surveillance technology of the camera – the motion detection alerts and recording capabilities – will help offer peace of mind throughout the summer.


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