Matt Baker’s Farm of a Lifetime (working title) is an eight-part television series, filmed for three weeks in Northumberland by Big Circus Media (‘Big Circus’), in which seven applicants (individuals or couples / partnerships) are brought together for the final stage of selecting a new tenant for the vacant Gallows Hill Farm on the National Trust’s Wallington Estate. It is intended to air on More4 in 2023.
The applicants will be assessed on their business plans and their abilities and approaches to agricultural, environmental farming and renovation by completing a series of real-world tasks/experiences, with the successful applicant invited to take on a 10-year tenancy of the farm.
In each episode the potential tenants will take on one or more tasks/experiences before the assessors decide who will progress to the next stage. Many of the real-world farm tasks/experiences involve processes that help to improve the land or buildings on the available farm. Some will take place on other farms which may be either on the wider estate or in the local area.
The television series will be presented by Matt Baker and the assessors will be representatives of the National Trust.
The chosen applicant will be expected to enter into a 10 year standard tenancy agreement directly with the National Trust. This commercial relationship, between the chosen applicant and the National Trust, will be exclusively between the two parties and not involve Big Circus or any of its partners or affiliates. The lease and all rent payments form no part of the television series and will be the sole responsibility of the tenant.
Applicants can apply either as an individual or as a couple / partnership.
Applications will be treated as confidential but successful applications that meet the eligibility criteria will, where necessary, be shared with The National Trust and Channel 4.
Successful applicants will be invited to view the farm in November 2022. Due to the volume of expected enquiries, Big Circus and the National Trust will not be able to answer any questions prior to the viewing day.
Applications are now closed. If you have not heard from a member of the Big Circus team by phone or email by 23:59 hours on Monday 7th November 2022, then unfortunately your application has been unsuccessful.
In order to apply you must be happy to appear in a television series that will be broadcast on More4. All applicants must complete the Application Form (link below). If you are successful and proceed through the first stage of the application process, you will be invited to attend a site visit of Gallows Hill Farm in Northumberland on either 14th or 15th November 2022 (we will notify you of the exact date if you are selected), to learn more about the farm, the tenancy and the television series. You must be available on both these dates and you will be responsible for arranging and paying for your own travel to Northumberland for this visit. Please do not attend the viewing days unless specifically invited to do so. If you have made it through the first stage of the application process you will hear from us by Monday 7th November 2022.
Selected applicants who attended the site visit will be invited to take part in the next stage of the application process which will include completing a second application form with further details about your background, undergoing financial checks and providing a business plan, including tendering rent, for Gallows Hill Farm. Applicants will be required to submit to Big Circus a short video about themselves and may be required to take part in a recorded video call with Big Circus.
If, after the second stage of the application process you are chosen to participate in the Programme, you will be invited to take part in a three-week residential selection process, which will be filmed on-site at Wallington, Northumberland (and other locations notified to you). During this process applicants will be required to take part in a series of real-life farm related tasks and based on the outcome of these tasks and the applicants’ business plans, some applicants will be eliminated. One successful applicant will be invited by the assessors to sign the tenancy agreement for Gallows Hill Farm.
Filming is planned to take place in March 2023. If selected, during this time you will be living away from home in Northumberland in accommodation arranged and paid for by the television production company and will be required to take part in farming-based challenges.
Applications are now closed.
Set in the centre of the estate, Gallows Hill Farm is comprised of 137ha of land and an idyllic Grade II listed farmhouse with gorgeous views across the Northumbrian countryside. The tenancy has become available for the first time in over thirty years and offers a unique opportunity to a new tenant to develop a high nature status farm.
The farmhouse, which is currently being refurbished by the National Trust, sits centrally within the farmstead and features a south facing walled garden and orchard. There are a variety of traditional and modern farm buildings.
If you are successful in your application and you make it to the end of the selection process and take on the tenancy, you will be expected to enter into a 10 year-tenancy agreement directly with the National Trust which will include paying rent and complying with the terms of the tenancy commencing on or around 13th May 2023. The relationship between the National Trust and the tenant will be the usual landlord/tenant relationship including all relevant obligations and liabilities, and neither Big Circus nor Channel 4 shall have any liability whatsoever in respect of the tenancy.
If you are interested in applying, please ensure you have read the “Farm Particulars” available here >
An individual or couple / partnership who:
- Can run a successful, viable and profitable business at Gallows Hill Farm.
- Has experience and/or qualifications when it comes to working with livestock.
- Has a passion for farming in a regenerative sustainable way.
- Is willing to become a tenant who works in a true partnership with the National Trust and has a positive approach to engagement with the other farmers and businesses across the wider estate.
- Can be a successful communicator with the local community and the public.