Successful farmer who waited years for land

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Despite being in his early-twenties, Gareth Barlow has already carved out a name for himself in the farming world.

His flock of rare-breed Hebridean Sheep has served him well and has sold his meat to a number of prestigious farm shops.

The meat can also be found at the award-winning Star Inn at Harome, North Yorkshire.

His success and age have seen him featured in the columns of the Yorkshire Post and he appeared on BBC television’s Countyfile programme.

However, despite his skill, dedication and profile it has taken him nearly two years to get his first proper tenancy.

Mr Barlow recently secured some pasture land for his flock of 250 sheep at Terrington, near Malton, a few miles away from his home at Bulmer. Until finding the land he had to keep his animals on various patches of land loaned to him by local farmers and landowners.

He concedes that he is very lucky to have found the farm, having looked as far away as Scotland and Cornwall prior to signing the tenancy.

“You very much have to play the waiting game,” he told the Yorkshire Post.

“If you do not have a big pot of cash, are able to inherit land or are able to persuade a bank to loan you money then you will struggle.

“You do have to be in it for the long-term.”

He concedes that he did often grow exasperated at the shortage of land.

He says that many times wondered if he would ever find somewhere to farm.

He added that the idea of getting a county council farm was never an option.

“It did not cross my mind because any time one becomes available it seems to be put on the market for sale.

“I was fortunate that I was able to make connections and establish myself.”