SKIPTON Auction Mart has sold its first prime lamb under a new fund-raising initiative on behalf of national farming charity the Addington Fund.

The Beltex-cross lamb was donated by Craven Cattle Marts chairman Anthony Hewetson, who farms in Bank Newton, and sold for £135 to Alan Beecroft, of Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster.

The entire proceeds from the sale – CCM also waived its commission – went to the fund, which offers a lifeline and safety net to farmers in desperate need of housing or emergency funds.

It was the first lamb to go under the hammer as part of Skipton Auction Mart’s new initiative in support of the Addington Fund’s ‘Tup 1 Ewe’ fund-raising campaign, through which sheep farmers are able to donate live sheep through participating auction markets around England and Wales, and nominate the sale proceeds to the charity.

The scheme, in which sheep sport purpose-designed rosettes so potential purchasers can see they are being sold in aid of the fund, was devised by Craven Cattle Marts general manager Jeremy Eaton. He said: “Other vendors are welcome to offer lambs at future sales for this extremely worthwhile cause.”

The lamb was sold on Skipton’s October prime show day, when Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop also claimed the prime lamb champions, a pen of five home-bred Beltex-cross from North Craven’s Mick Hewitt, of Giggleswick.

On the same day, Mr Beecroft, who is now a regular weekly buyer of primestock at the North Yorkshire venue, also took home a brace a prime cattle, among them the second prize Blue-cross steer from Threshfield’s Charles and Richard Kitching.

The champion prime lambs have now gone on sale at the Lancaster Leisure Park farm shop.

Mr Beecroft said: “Once again we are sourcing the very best meat that money can buy for our customers – top quality lamb and beef roasts, steaks, chops and all the other popular cuts. Absolutely nothing will go to waste.”

He added: “We were also keen to buy the lamb donated in aid of the Addington Fund, as it a very deserving charity that does sterling work on behalf of hard-hit farmers across the nation.”

Ian Bell, chief executive of the Addington Fund, said: “We always get tremendous support from livestock marts and farmers and this is a great start to the renewed impetus we are now giving to our ‘Tup 1 Ewe’ fund-raising campaign.

"Our thanks go to CCM, its chairman and the farm shop buyer. We can only hope others will take up the gauntlet on our behalf.”