Barnsley brothers at Cannon Hall Farm win Boris Johnson's Points of Light award

A Yorkshire farm's online showcase of rural life has not only won the praise of Prime Minister Boris Johnson but also of a senior NHS critical care nurse who welcomed its "light relief" between shifts aiding coronavirus patients.

Brothers David and Robert Nicholson, of Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, have won a Points of Light award for their Lockdown Livestream.

Given by 10 Downing Street, it recognises outstanding volunteers and people who are making a change in their community.

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The brothers share a daily live broadcast to more than 150,000 viewers, educating children about looking after the animals and helping connect people with nature while they are having to stay at home.

David Nicholson (pictured) and his brother Robert won the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister. Picture: SWNS.

With the family farm temporarily closed to visitors, they decided to start sharing videos to provide a lift for people isolating at home, including streaming lamb and goat kid births live.

Their online videos have now been viewed more than seven million times, and thanks to the popularity of their broadcasts, the brothers now feature on the new Channel 5 show This Week on The Farm, which airs at 8pm on Tuesdays.

Natalie English, a senior nurse on a critical care ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, has found brief moments of solace from the online videos in between long, stressful shifts.

She said: "Work has been super busy, super stressful - life in general is super stressful - and it was just light relief.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the Barnsley farmers. Picture: PA.

"You watch the videos and whilst we're not able to get outdoors...you felt like you were outdoors.

"Robert's voice is easy to listen to and also [I like] the way he cracks a joke and makes himself laugh.

"There was no big drama - I've been trying to avoid drama - it's just nice, easy viewing, easy listening too, lovely to see the animals, because it just took you away from what we have to be doing."

Mrs English, 46, said that because of her exposure to coronavirus at work in hospital, she had been unable to see her parents, who are in their 80s, so had encouraged them to watch the videos too.

Robert said: "We said from the start of our broadcasts that if we could help one person, that would have been enough. We would have never expected that 13 weeks after we began we would be broadcasting live to thousands of people a day all across the world – and we’ve had so many lovely letters and emails from people saying how watching our broadcasts has helped them through this tough time.”

David added: “We are so proud to have been able to share our family farm on a national scale – and represent our home town of Barnsley. But we do have to say it is a real team effort and we have lots of staff behind the scenes who have helped to make it a success as well. We are just the ones in front of the camera, but there’s plenty of support behind the scenes so we will share this award with them.”

In a letter to Robert and David, Mr Johnson said: “Over the last few months, your daily broadcasts have allowed a nation in isolation to revel in the natural glory of Cannon Hall Farm, and to ramble alongside you in the spectacular Yorkshire countryside. Your ingenuity has fortified the nation’s spirit as we continue our fight against Coronavirus.

“To do this while also running a working farm is wonderful and testament to the dedication of Britain’s farmers, which you exemplify.

“On behalf of the whole country, thank you."

The farm is scheduled to reopen to visitors on Saturday, but customers are asked to pre-book online.