Jill Thorp: Amazon fires show why public should support British farmers

Jill Thorp lives between the lanes of the M62 on Stott Hall Farm and writes for The Yorkshire Post every weekend. Picture by Gary Longbottom.
Jill Thorp lives between the lanes of the M62 on Stott Hall Farm and writes for The Yorkshire Post every weekend. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

On Bank Holiday Monday whilst Paul and John-William headed over the hills to the wonderful Hope Show and Sheepdog trials, I continued the increasingly tedious task of painting the house.

With a sweltering forecast of wall to wall sunshine I had no desire to take to the roads, so out came the white paint. As the morning progressed, traffic built steadily, nose to tail cars and wagons thundering past until the volume slowed it all down, eventually to a juddering halt. Both carriageways sat in the baking sunshine, finally giving me some peace.

Stott Hall Farm.

Stott Hall Farm.

As Paul was judging the Whitefaced Woodland classes at Hope this year, he only had two to take for the Champion of Champions class later in the day, an aged tup and a shearling ewe. I knew the tup would take some beating, but Paul left the house muttering the same old words I hear on every morning of a show.

“Just gone off the boil, won’t be our day today, can’t win ’em all.”

Later that day he rung to say the tup had won the Champion of Champions and the trophy that I had frantically polished that morning whilst noting I had yet again forgotten to get it engraved, would be once again returning to Stott Hall.

What life is really like on Jill Thorp’s farm in the middle of the M62

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John-William was slightly miffed that his shearling ewe hadn’t won the “stash” as he calls it, but had quickly abandoned her when the red, white and blue sash was laid across the tup’s back and managed to be in the photos whilst pushing his dad out of the way.

As the Bank Holiday draws to a close we can breath a sigh of relief that all our precious moorlands, heavily carpeted in the beautiful purple shades of flowering heather have survived the onslaught of the selfish barbecue brigade.

Despite a multitude of banners, signs and warning posters, disposable barbecue trays litter every lay-by and beauty spot. I have quickly come to realise that my pleas to these idiots simply fall on deaf ears.

I can only surmise that people just don’t care. The fires raging through the tropical rainforests of the Amazon continue to burn, causing irreparable damage and destruction. Vast acreages burn leaving a desolate landscape and pushing some of the world’s most unique and precious wildlife to the brink of extinction.

Fruit, cereals and pulses are grown as well as palm oil and soya. It is estimated that for each pound of beef produced, 200 square feet of rainforest are destroyed.

As the wave of vegan hysteria gathers momentum, I yet again hear the words “vegan uprising”. I watch the news with immense sadness, shaking my head with disbelief at the ecological disaster happening in South America for what can only be described as unsustainable agriculture. The only uprising the public should support is that of the British farmer.

If ever there were a time to back our farmers, buy locally and do your bit for reducing the carbon footprint, then this it.