New Deputy Land Steward Impressed With Scilly’s Entrepreneurial Farmers

luke humphries1The Duchy of Cornwall’s Deputy Land Steward says he’s been impressed at how entrepreneurial Scilly’s farmers are in making the best of the islands’ small farm holdings.

Luke Humphries has been in the newly created position, since September.

Luke studied at agricultural college and worked in rural estate management with larger East Anglian arable farms.

He says that developing different strands to a farming business is becoming important upcountry but is “absolutely essential” in Scilly, because the businesses aren’t big enough to sustain an adequate income from a single activity.

Luke’s now the day-to-day contact for Duchy matters on the islands. Land Steward Chris Gregory still visits regularly but is spending more time on the mainland.

He says he’s always available for meetings with islanders but he’d rather discuss business in the office rather than in the queue in the Co-op.

Luke says it’s too much of a cliché to call this his ‘dream job’ but doing the work he enjoys, in the place that he loves, is close to that.

He says that moving to Scilly with three young boys took careful consideration but he’s here for the long term.

And he’s no stranger to the islands. Luke says he’s a lifelong visitor to Scilly, spending much of his childhood camping on the Garrison with his family.

But he says living and working here is “completely different” from visiting for a couple of weeks in the summer.

Now Luke says he’s left with the problem of deciding where to go on holiday, although he says he’ll probably spend this year’s break at home on the islands.

Luke arrived in Scilly during a period of great activity, with the conclusion of the Porthloo slip works and the road resurfacing.

He’s expecting a busy 2015 too as the biggest project involving the Duchy, the quay extension and widening, and harbourside building work, is completed.