Hero who moved 140 sheep 200 miles to help covid stricken Yorkshire Dales farmer scoops top award

A hero who moved 140 pregnant ewes 200 miles to help a Yorkshire farmer when he was hospitalised with Covid-19 has been recognised with an award.

Pictured, a view of Malham in  the Yorkshire Dales. Farmer Sam Stables moved the flock to his farm in Hereford from Malham, North Yorkshire, overnight in March. Photo credit: JPIMedia.
Pictured, a view of Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. Farmer Sam Stables moved the flock to his farm in Hereford from Malham, North Yorkshire, overnight in March. Photo credit: JPIMedia.

Sam Stables, 41, moved the flock to his farm in Hereford from Malham, North Yorkshire, overnight in March.

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David Newhouse, of Malham, in the Yorkshire Dales, was struck down by the virus days before his flock were due to give birth.

Pictured, Yorkshire famer David Newhouse (left) and Sam Stables (right). Photo credit: British Farming Awards.

Mr Stables, said: "David came down with symptoms while lambing his sheep," Mr Stables said. "I thought the only thing I could do to help was get the sheep down to me."

Realising scores of newborn lambs could die, the dad-of-two agreed to lamb 140 ewes on his own farm – 200 miles away in Herefordshire.

After arranging transport for the sheep, Sam helped Mr Newhouse's flock give birth safely before returning the lambs and their mothers to Yorkshire.

Mr Stables said he was "incredibly humbled" to be recognised by the British Farming Awards as 2020's "Farming Hero".

"It's a different life is farming, it's a team effort."

Mr Stables, who grew up near Skipton and learned his trade on the Newhouses' farm as a teenager, said: "David and Carol took me under their wing as a teenager and I knew I had to do something to help them out when I heard David had been hospitalised.

“Together with Richard and Val Brown, Kirkby Malham, we organised 140 sheep to be gathered and transported to my farm in Herefordshire to lamb here."

Mr Newhouse said it was "an incredibly stressful time" when he was hospitalised with coronavirus.

"I feel so humbled by Sam's act of kindness," he said. "He deserves so much recognition for his selfless actions.

"He was amazing, and I am really proud of him."

The awards also recognised Mr Stable's work supporting mental health among the farming community through a charity he established with his wife earlier this year.

"Social isolation is something farmers go through and have done for decades," he said. "It's such a difficult industry to be in."

"We want to try and break the stigma of mental health in farming."

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