Whitby photographer creates new Farmer Pete children's book based on her partner

An amateur photographer has created a children’s book about farming featuring her partner.

Peter Welford and Ruth Cockrem on their dairy farm near Whitby

Ruth Cockrem said the inspiration came from taking pictures of Peter Welford, her partner of 20 years, working on their dairy enterprise, Butterpark Farm at Egton Bridge, near Whitby.

“Photography has been a hobby of mine for years and I go out with the camera around the farm and take lots of pictures of what is going on around the farm,” Miss Cockrem said.

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“I mentions that there should be a Farmer Pete book as a bit of a joke at first and Pete said I would never do it.

“But after the first cut of silage where I had taken lots of photos, I decided to print them out and give some thought about what I could write for each one.”

As she worked, the first Farmer Pete book, Silage Time at Butterpark Farm, started to take shape explaining the reason and process of silage.

“When he saw it, Pete loved it,” she said.

But it was not until she shared it on a Facebook group that it became a picture book. Her friend, Emma Metcalf, who is an artist and member of the group, asked if she could draw some pictures from the photographs.

Miss Cockrem said: “I shared the copy with her as well and then she put the pictures and text together. We decided to get it printed and split the books in half to try and sell.”

A print run of 100 books proved so popular that an additional 200 copies have been ordered.

Miss Cockrem said: “We put them up on Facebook and agricultural sites, I never really thought people would buy it, but we have had really good feedback.”

She has plans for more Farmer Pete books in the new year, with potential subjects including calving, arable and sheep scanning.

Miss Cockrem said: “The aim is for the books to be educational and although they are primarily for children they are also for adults who want to know a bit more about farming.”