Yorkshire’s second largest landowner, Yorkshire Water, has launched a programme to support young farmers looking to rent their land.
The initiative is part of the water firm's existing Beyond Nature scheme, which supports tenant farmers to deliver sustainable land management.
Scow Hall Farm, located in the Washburn Valley, is the first farm to take part in the initiative and will be let out to a young farmer for a five-year period.
Within the EU only 11% of farms are run by those under 40, with the largest proportion of farmers being over the age of 55.
Lisa Harrowsmith, lead surveyor at Yorkshire Water said: “After the first five-year lease, we will let the farm to another young farmer, therefore creating a cycle of opportunity for the next generation of farmers.
"Once the tenancy is up, we will assist that farmer with finding new opportunities on a permanent holding or elsewhere within the agricultural industry.”
Beyond Nature was developed by Yorkshire Water in 2016 when Humberstone Bank Farm first adopted the ethos, which holds sustainable land management at its core and prioritises nine key values.
Scow Hall Farm has the potential to deliver on seven of those values, including: biodiversity, water quality, carbon sequestration, farming enterprise, social benefits, climate change and recreation.
Ms Harrowsmith added: “We are looking to create a programme of starter farms to provide young farmers the opportunity to take on a farm.
“We want to give young farmers the tools to create sustainable farms and will provide a mentor, training and business advice to encourage a sustainable approach to land management."
Applications for Scow Hall Farm will open in late August.