A Working Day Farmer, Yorkshire – Free Ebook

I’m Neil Hazeltine, I live and work at Hill Top Farm in Malham. I was born and bred at Malham, I’ve always lived on the farm. The family has been here for over a hundred years. Everyday there’s something to do. There’s never a day when there’s not to do so it’s a very incessant work. You can’t not go out because it’s raining or snowing. In fact on those days it’s most important that you’re out there to make sure that the sheep have something to eat and are where they should be and they’re not in any danger from snow or wind or a combination of the two. We do try to get holidays but it’s much more difficult cause you have to get people to look after the stock and the people you find to qualify ought to have a little bit of knowledge as well. In here there are belted Galloways. These are the brown ones which are called Dun and there are the black & white ones and obviously they both got the characteristic sort of belt around them, hence the name. This cattle is able to live outside. They’re able to thrive in this kind of conditions which most cattle wouldn’t be able to do. They live outside all year round. They live up right in front of the skyline most of the year. There are three calves, so I come to check on those. But there’s one cow with a calf that is just sticking out a little bit so I’ve come to check if that’s alright. We try to allow the cows to exhibit as much of their natural behavior as possible. You can just see the calf laid in the thistles and I’ve seen it trying to get milk from his mother so we’ll just go and leave her deal with it. There’s a lot of work involved with a sheep enterprise, there’s always something to do with the sheep. And the time taken up with the sheep is the time that impacts the most upon family life because we’re working extremely hard we spend a lot of time with the sheep it can test the patience somewhat. I would never discourage my daughter from going farming despite it being hard work and there are days when you maybe don’t want to do it. There’s lot of positive in it as well and it’s a great life. It is quite a nice feeling for me knowing that my forefathers and grandfather farmed this land. And I’m thinking that the way forward at the moment is to go back to how things were farmed a long time ago which seems odd in some respects. But I think we’ve got to farm in tune with nature and we’ve got to farm in a way which doesn’t impact negatively upon the natural environment around us. So there’s a nice feeling about that but that doesn’t mean I would put any pressure on my daughter to take it over. But if she wanted to, that would be great.

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