If you missed the BBC ‘The World Tonight’ report of the Young Farmers event at Hay…

A report about the Young Farmers Event at the Hay Festival appeared on BBC Radio 4 ‘The World Tonight’ on Tuesday, June 1.  If you missed it then, you are in luck!  We have it here.

To listen to the report about the Young Farmers event by Paul Moss which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’, click below.

In the meantime, if anyone has any photographs of the event could you please send them to me at:  anne@cantilupe.demon.co.uk.  So far we only have a few pics and it would be great to see some more.  Thanks.

— Anne Cottringer


Good-bye Hay Festival – until next year…


The Hay Festival ends today.  Hope we will be back next year with a finished film.   Once again, thanks to all those who made the Young Farmers Documentary Event at the Hay Festival such a success.

Young Farmers Documentary in Farmers Weekly

Farmers Weekly Interactive have published an article about the Hay Festival Event and the magazine will also publish something in their June 11th issue.

Farming in the Future meeting: Richard Thomas speaking

Here are details we have received from Felicity Norman who has organised the evening:

Farming in the Future(4)

What does the future hold for our Young Farmers?  Speakers will include Richard Thomas, who runs a mixed, family farm locally with his parents, and is Chair of WM Area Young Farmers Clubs, and Charlotte Hollins from Fordhall Farm, who together with her brother Ben, fought a tremendous battle to save this unique organic livestock farm, with the help of hundreds of shareholders. We will also be showing a short film about young farmers today.

Thursday 10th June, 7.30pm
The Royal Oak, South Street, Leominster
This is a further meeting for all with an interest in food and farming in the light of climate change and peak oil.  We hope for lively and constructive discussion on these issues.

The Young Farmer Documentary trailer will be shown too!

Stop Press! Tonight on BBC Radio 4 ‘The World Tonight’.

Just heard that the piece about the Young Farmers Event will be on tonight.  So listen in from 10pm.

Young Farmers Documentary Event on BBC Radio 4 ‘The World Tonight’

Yes, the sun shone on the day.  A big thanks to all who took part and supported the Young Farmers Documentary Event at Hay and to all those who came along to the reception and to the event itself.  Special thanks to Jesse Norman MP for hosting the reception.  I hope the discussion and debate can continue.  So please feel free to comment on these pages.

Paul Moss, a reporter from BBC Radio 4 ‘The World Tonight’ programme, interviewed Graham Richards, Jenny Layton, Jonathan Rogers and myself for a piece which will go out one night next week.   So tune in your radios at 10 o’clock and see if you can catch it.  (Listen out for Graham’s ewes bleating in the background.)

I didn’t manage to take any photographs myself despite bringing my camera.  I really wanted to get a group picture but there was never a moment.  If anyone managed to take any photos…

Fingers crossed we can raise enough money to finish the documentary.

Young Farmers at Hay Festival today!

It’s sunny outside my window so let’s hope the sunshine lasts.   Tonight’s the night!  We will be screening some of our material at the Hay Festival at 9pm in the Ritzy venue on the site.  Christine Hope, Graham Richards, Jenny Layton and Russell Carrington will be saying a few words as well.  So if you haven’t yet got your ticket, it’s time to get one.

There are loads of other interesting events and talks happening tonight which you might want to see and then you can round off the evening with the Young Farmers screening.


The Herefordshire Federation Of Young Farmers Clubs had their annual rally last Saturday at Arkstone Court Farm near Kingstone. It marks exactly a year since we began ‘officially’ filming. The weather was glorious, just as it was last year. The difference this year is that we now know many more of the young farmers and it was a bit of a juggling act trying to get to all their various events. We missed a few as, unfortunately, they hadn’t scheduled the rally to fit it in with our filming needs. Next year…

In the meantime, only a few days left until the screening event at the Hay Festival. Don’t forget to buy your tickets and we’ll see you there.

Apologies for the video clip of the week still being absent but we are preparing the material for the Hay Festival and the footage isn’t available.

How to Shear a Sheep

Sheep shearing season is coming up, so for a quick how-to guide click on the video clip of the week.

I also noticed that spring lamb sales were down last week at Hereford Market because lambs haven’t been ready due to the cold dry conditions which have meant the grass isn’t growing.  On a personal level, my allotment is way behind as well and many of the seed I’ve put in just haven’t germinated.  Hoping for some warmer days with a mixture of sun and rain….

Young Farmers at Hay Festival

What better way to begin the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend than by a visit to the Hay Festival?  Following on from the sell out success of Young Farmers at the Borderlines Film Festival, there will be a Young Farmers Documentary Event at the Hay Festival.  We will screen sequences some of the material we’ve shot over the last year and there will be a short intro by me, and presentations by participants in the film. (The line up of speakers will be announced later in May.)

Come along to hear about the challenges facing young farmers in the 21st century, get some insights what farming is like from the perspective of those just beginning their life on the land, and discuss the future of food and farming in this country.

The screening will be at 9pm on Friday the 28th of May, the first weekend of the Festival.  You can order your tickets from the Hay website.  It  might be a good idea to order them early since quite a few people were turned away from the Young Farmers Event at Borderlines.


After spending 3 days inside a blacked out studio, emerged to find buds in the hedgerows, blossom on the trees, and the pleasure of sitting outside the pub in Hoarwithy in a T-shirt.  We spent the afternoon shooting and recording ‘signs of spring’.  Such an onerous task…backlit catkins along the Wye, celandine, primroses, undergrowth humming with green, fields of Hereford’s red earth turned over next to green, green, green.  Overhead a buzzard lazes across the sky worrying the crows.

Lying in the afternoon sun in the St. Cuthbert churchyard outside Holme Lacy recording the sound of a woodpecker, a bumblebee veering past the microphone and birdsong that comes from all directions.  Earlier there had been skylarks.

And back home, after having been careful not to listen to the radio and hear the results of The Grand National,  we watch our recording as if it were live.  The suspense is still there, but our luck isn’t.  We all lost our bets.


Clocks have gone forward.  Normally feel like this somersaults us into Spring but the grey, the gloom,  the relentless rain, and now snow up north seems to be dragging us back to winter.  Still there are daffodils, the magnolias are in bud and the other day on the way back from Fay Thomas’ farm we saw chestnuts almost bursting into leaf.

And we have been filming lambing.  On a cold frosty morning in early March on Richard Thomas’ farm I saw my first live real lamb being born (not on film or tv).  All the cliches kick in as you watch in wonder while this little life, wet and steaming, doggedly wobbles onto its legs.  Since then we’ve seen a lot of births.  We’ve watched Richard Mills and his father persuade a ewe to return to her lamb.  She had taken one look at it and run away.  Spent the day with the Fay Thomas’ family where, with 800 ewes to deal with, lambing is definitely a family affair with all hands on deck.

And one of the highlights of March was upon arriving at Graham Richards’ family’s farm, he said he had something to show us.  Mysterious.  He led us into a baled off area in one of the sheds and there were calve triplets!  Two days old.  The cow had them in the night all by herself.  Graham had done some research and the odds are 100,000 to 1 for such an event.  They’ve have 2 sets of twins in the last six months as well.  So there must be something in the air at Abbey farm.  How many triplets this year from their 1200 ewes?

We are waiting for the call to go and film a calving…Richard? Jono? Continue reading