The land on both sides of the River Ribble floodplain has been farmed for many centuries. In the Middle Ages some of it was ploughed for growing crops, but most has only been used for grazing animals. During the Second World War some land was ploughed for potatoes, turnips and oats.


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Long Preston Floodplain Project Trail

Download our map which shows two walks in the area and the locations of the 6 Long Preston interpretations boards.

All routes are Public Rights of Way, please respect the marked paths and follow the countryside code.


Download Project Trail

Since the 1950s the way this land has been farmed has changed dramatically. The farms are generally much bigger now and more intensive methods of farming allow pastures to support more cattle or sheep per hectare.


In the past the main breeds of cattle were Shorthorn and Galloway. Dairy cows were milked by hand every day with much of the milk being sent away by train to the towns. Some was sold in local villages or turned into cream, butter or cheese. Beef cattle were reared as store cattle, to be fattened up for the market or sold as fat calves.

cattleThese breeds have now been replaced with black and white Friesians and Holsteins that produce much more milk. Charolais, Simmental and Belgian Blue are kept for meat because they fatten up more quickly and are more productive. In recent years several local farms have returned to traditional breeds and organic methods.

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