NFU Community Farming Hero awards

21 September 2022

Back British Farming
NFU Farming Hero badge sitting over a countryside village scene

NFU Farming Hero badge sitting over a countryside village scene

Alongside producing food, farmers often go above and beyond for their communities. Whether they are helping neighbours during extreme weather or fundraising for charities, farmers are an integral part of their local area. The NFU has decided that it's time to give these heroes the recognition they deserve. 

We've launched this new award to recognise individual farmers who play an important role in their local communities.

MPs have been nominating farmers from their constituency to be our inaugural Community Farming Hero.

There will be 8 regional winners in total.

Farmers were nominated for going above and beyond in their community. This included:

  • organising or suppling a food bank
  • inspiring school children about farming
  • fundraising for a local charity
  • volunteering in the local community or
  • helping out in times of bad weather.

In fact, however they are helping their local community we want to spread the word about what they do.

MPs had until 29 August 2022 to choose their constituency winners. These winners will then be put forward to receive a regional award. 

We'll be announcing our regional winners on this year's Back British Farming Day on Wednesday 2 November.

Meet the constituency winners

Read what the MPs have said about the NFU members in their constituencies and how they have been making a difference in their communities.

We'll update this page as we receive an MP's nominee and have verified them as the constituency winner.

Nominated by:
Ian Levy MP (Cons)
Blyth Valley

Chris Hogg

Chris, Valdine and George run so more than just a farm. Caring for local birdlife is a particular priority for them. They produce their own bird food and provide other services for local birdkeepers and bird lovers in the area.


 

Nominated by:
Jeremy Hunt MP (Cons)
South West Surrey

Harry Hall

Harry is incredibly generous in supporting local causes. For example, at nearby village fetes he donates free fruit, and has transformed an area of six tired looking, old potato fields into one of the most successful businesses in the constituency.


 

Nominated by:
George Freeman MP (Cons)
Mid Norfolk

Glenn Anderson

Glenn is the driving force behind the Wendling Beck Exemplar Project, blazing a trail that will allow farms up and down the country to deliver '21st century' farming and 'ecosystem services' while significantly boosting the local tourism offer.


 

Nominated by:
Mike Amesbury MP (Lab)
Weaver Vale

Graham Warburton

The Warburton family show pride in their role in feeding the nation through their passion and enthusiasm for their farm along with how they engage with the community, open their farm to educational access and integrate their farming practices closely with the care of the natural environment.


 

Nominated by:
Bob Seely MP (Cons)
Isle of Wight

Paul Griffin

Paul's farm has amazing dairy products produced by its herd of Guernsey cows, a commitment to looking after the land it occupies, and provides a farm shop facility to both showcase Isle of Wight produce and to meet the growing demand for Island produce. His business is a family-run business run by Islanders, for Islanders.


 

Nominated by:
Caroline Nokes MP (Cons)
Romsey and Southampton North

Alex Drake

Alex is always one of the first out to help clearing fallen trees after storms, making sure people are safe and alerting services to where power lines are down. His farm has established a milk vending machine service, have done a brilliant job connecting local children with the milk they drink and organises an annual charity tractor run on Boxing Day.


 

Nominated by:
Kate Griffiths MP (Cons)
Burton

Robert Atkin

Rob is nominated for his vision for the future of farming and the responsibility he takes for educating others about farming and his role in tackling climate change.


 

Nominated by:
Helen Whately (Cons)
Faversham and Mid Kent

Bill Alexander

When a fire broke out on a neighbours farm and was spreading towards a residential area, Bill bravely cultivated a firebreak which contained the fire.


Nominated by:
Laura Farris MP (Cons)
Newbury

Eleanor Gilbert

Eleanor has a mission to educate and inspire residents of West Berkshire and beyond about farming in the twenty-first century through her Twitter and Instagram.


 

Nominated by:
Siobhan Ballie MP (Cons)
Stroud

Liz Godsell

Liz is always going the extra mile for others and is always willing to host meetings and open the farm to the public with initiatives like Open Farm Sunday.


 

Nominated by:
Alex Davies MP (Lab)
Pontypridd

Jonathan Huntley

Jonathan has campaigned and worked hard to keep farming free of bovine tuberculosis in his community and has supported farmers across Wales to tackle this devastating problem over the years.


 

Nominated by:
Harriett Baldwin MP (Cons)
West Worcestershire

Jake Freestone

Jake is a fantastic advocate for the food and farming industry and is very enthusiastic about no till conservation agriculture and regenerative farming practices.


 

Nominated by:
Fiona Bruce MP (Cons)
Congleton

Ray Brown

Ray is nominated for his innovation in developing milk production, ice cream making, and development of popular local visitor centre.


 

Nominated by:
Gordon Henderson MP (Cons)
Sittingbourne and Sheppey

Tim Malpas

Tim regularly supports Open Farm Sunday, running orchard tours for the public and teaching them about sheep and farm machinery.


 

Nominated by:
Daniel Kawczynski MP (Cons)
Shrewsbury and Atcham

Andrew Bebb

Andrew has worked for years to support those living in rural areas with mental health. Much of his work goes unseen but his selfless work and campaigning has made a huge difference to his local community.


 

Nominated by:
Andy Carter MP (Cons)
Warrington South

Ray Broadsmith

Ray has worked tirelessly to support the Lymm community over a period of more than 40 years. Throughout the pandemic, his milk retailing business was invaluable and he prioritised deliveries to the elderly, vulnerable and key workers to help get them through lockdown when there were shortages on supermarket shelves. 


 

Nominated by:
Rosie Cooper MP (Lab)
West Lancashire

Robin Cropper

Robin stepped up during the pandemic and went from providing potatoes to fish and chip shops across the North West to donating thousands of tonnes to local food banks and distribution networks.


 

Nominated by:
Katherine Fletcher MP (Cons)
South Ribble

Andy Roe

Team Flavourfresh are known for their community activism. In one of their recent projects, they have been showcasing modern farming techniques in local schools to encourage young learners to be the growers of the future.


 

Nominated by:
Rt Hon Sir Jeremy Wright (Cons)
Kenilworth and Southam

Andy and Lynda Eadon

After the tragic death of their son, Andy and Linda launched a campaign to raise awareness of the mental health challenges often faced by people living in rural areas and have raised over £60,000 for good causes.


 

Nominated by:
Layla Moran MP (LibDem)
Oxford West and Abingdon

Bill and Kim Homewood

Bill and Kim add to the community spirit with their annual pumpkin picking days, opening the farm up for school visits or supplying the village with trees and turkeys at Christmas, everything they do is based on staying in touch with the local community.


 

Nominated by:
Rt Hon Sir Jake Berry MP (Cons)
Rossendale and Darwen

The Fielding Family

Rebecca and Colin regularly organise charity events and raise money for the local community, alongside keeping the community supplied with fresh milk and dairy on their milk round and educating the local community on what goes on, on the farm.


 

Nominated by:
Maria Eagle MP (Lab)
Garston and Halewood

Olly Harrison

Olly takes an active part in local charity fundraising. Every year, Olly grows a Sunflower Maze and in 2021 it raised over £40,000 for NHS charities. He is the founder of Liverpool’s Christmas Tractor Convoy to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and earlier this year he also turned over space on his farm to house supplies for Ukrainian refugees.


 

Nominated by:
John Howell MP (Cons)
Henley

Phil White

Phil has an extensive programme to educate young and old about agriculture at his farm, teaching the public about producing food in an environmentally conscious way.


 

Nominated by:
Fay Jones MP (Cons)
Brecon and Radnorshire

Richard Roderick

Richard is a forward thinking farmer who understands the vital importance of looking after the environment, and sustainability is the core of all his farming practices.


 

Nominated by:
Kevin Hollinrake MP (Cons)
Thirsk and Malton

John and Sally Banks

John and Sally are passionate about dairy farming, hosting school and retailer visits and would like to do more. They currently host an annual open day on their farm attracting hundreds of people from the locality.


 

Nominated by:
Simon Fell MP (Cons)
Barrow and Furness

John Longmire

John has worked to support Cumbrian Young Farmers Clubs for decades, he is a Parish Councillor with an extremely active and altruistic presence in his local community, supporting his neighbours and fellow parishioners.


 

Nominated by:
Gagan Mohindra MP (Cons)
South West Hertfordshire

Simon and Chris Mead

Simon and Chris are excellent 6th generation farmers who have helped their local community tremendously by helping people receive food during the pandemic and supporting young people wanting to get into farming as well as their dedication to conservation.


 

Nominated by:
Philip Dunne MP (Cons)
Ludlow

David Robinson

David and his family engage with the local community quite a lot, they have open farm Sunday, hold carol singing and other events on farm from time to time and have given land for a Men In Sheds unit at New House farm.


 

Nominated by:
Maria Caulfield MP (Cons)
Lewes

Susie MacMillan

Macs farm is a great family farm who are passionate about what they do, regularly hosting engaging community events and always opening their farm to visitors from all over the constituency.


 

Nominated by:
Robert Courts MP (Cons)
Witney

Karl Franklin

Karl has made an exceptional contribution to the community in West Oxfordshire, not just through his social media channels to educate the public on farming, but also his work with Scouts, fundraising for Witney-based charity Antics.


Nominated by:
Peter Kyle MP (Lab)
Hove

David and Julia Cross

David and Julia have made the farm a hub of the community. They have school visits and also a café & shop which is now famous for local produce. The shop has become a community asset and 'crown jewel' and David and Julia have worked tirelessly to involve local residents in the life of the farm.


Nominated by:
Helen Morgan MP (LibDem)
North Shropshire

Ben and Charlotte Hollins

Charlotte and Ben run a community youth project for students struggling with mainstream education and has a care farm providing activities for a wide range of vulnerable people. People with learning disabilities are able to learn new skills at the work placements as well as gaining qualifications. 


Nominated by:
Edward Timpson MP (Cons)
Eddisbury

Philip Smallwood

Phil shows anyone who wants to learn more about farming what his family do and how they do it, including taking his hatching chicks with him to events and schools. He also gets involved in raising money for two farmers' charities, bringing together rural communities, helping to improve farmer welfare and tackle isolation in farming.


Nominated by:
Tim Farron MP (LibDem)
Westmorland and Lonsdale

James Robinson

James is an example of true innovation within farming. He demonstrates the importance of the centralisation of food production and encourages others to farm efficiently and sustainably.


Nominated by:
Mark Menzies MP (Cons)
Fylde

Helen Chappell

Helen at Ridgeway Farm offers an insight into this industry for Fylde residents and beyond. These visits are offered free of charge and Helen's engagement with school groups is particularly important, especially those from Blackpool, Preston and other local urban areas, who may not have any prior knowledge of farming and what the sector entails.


Nominated by:
David Rutley MP (Cons)
Macclesfield

Danny Newton

Danny is passionate about engaging and educating the public and has hosted numerous open farm Sunday events, attracting over 800 people. Danny is very much at the heart of the Macclesfield community, promoting Cheshire farming by hosting events to delivering his farm's milk on the doorstep to customers.


Nominated by:
Sir Graham Brady MP (Cons)
Altrincham and Sale West

Duncan Priestner

After completing a Higher National Diploma in Agriculture at Harper Adams University College, Duncan has been a Poultry Farmer in Lymm Greater Manchester, and has remained a dedicated and popular farmer throughout his years of farming.


Nominated by:
Simon Jupp MP (Cons)
East Devon

Emily and Luke Knight

Emily and Luke have done an amazing job on their county council holding, opening up the community and getting all ages and abilities from the community on farm to learn about food production. Not only do they do a great job of promoting the industry they also help build confidence, teamwork and independence of those that attend.


Nominated by:
Sir John Hayes MP (Cons)
South Holland and The Deepings

Nicholas Watts

Nicholas has a passion for farming, wildlife and the environment. Within his remarkable conservation work, he supports and promotes the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, with 4% of each sale from his bird food business being donated to the Trust.


Nominated by:
Chi Onwurah MP (Lab)
Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Kevin Batey

Alongside managing the grazing of over 550 cattle, Kevin enables the use of the grassland as public open space. The land is used by thousands of members of the public for leisure, exercise, and community events through a network of public rights of way.


Nominated by:
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (Cons)
The Cotswolds

Tanya Robbins

Tanya has helped promote farming to a much wider audience by taking part in Open Farm Sunday, welcoming the public onto her farm in order to show them how food is produced whilst also caring for the environment. In addition, she has helped organise a Farm & Rural Economy Day and has volunteered with Facetime A Farmer, where she engaged with local primary schools.


Nominated by:
Julie Marson MP (Cons)
Hertford and Stortford

Tom Parkins

When a combine fire incident at Westmill was attended, Tom initiated a response from the rural community to support Fire and Rescue with water and cultivation capability which resulted in the fire being controlled and extinguished in a timely manner.


Nominated by:
Victoria Atkins MP (Cons)
Louth and Horncastle

Ian Watson

On the hottest day of the year, when a fire broke out in a field near Louth, Ian has played a vital role in rolling out a fire training programme and developing an adapter that can be carried by fire services to enable them access to on farm water sources helping to save lives, property, livestock and crops.


Nominated by:
Craig Mackinlay MP (Cons)
South Thanet

James & Emma Loder-Symonds

James and Emma use the farm as an outdoor classroom. Over the past year, they have welcomed over 1000 children and adults to the farm for educational lessons. In addition, they do a vast amount of environmental work, with initiatives focusing on wild bird and bee plots where 13 out of 16 birds species on the Red List visit the farm.


Nominated by:
Sir Robert Goodwill MP (Cons)
Scarborough and Whitby

Will Terry

Will farms near Ravenscar and is a great farming ambassador. Recently, he has been on ITV News explaining the impact of the dry weather conditions on local farming. Alongside farming, he is also a maritime and coastal volunteer, helping with the rescues of those in distress.


Nominated by:
Graham Stuart MP (Cons)
Beverley and Holderness

John Duggleby

John has consistently supported the local community during hard times through his tireless campaigning for better water management following catastrophic floods in 2007 and again in 2018 as Chairman of the Beverley and North Holderness IDB. He passionately believes in watercourse maintenance and never is afraid at meetings to stand his ground.


Nominated by:
Theo Clarke MP (Cons)
Stafford

Richard Bower

Richard has a passion for educating the public and has created many opportunities for them to come onto the farm. He also uses traditional and modern methods to communicate and educate about modern farming. He has also taken environmental measures on the farm, which show a good example of how farming can work to tackle climate change.


Nominated by:
Richard Holden MP (Cons)
North West Durham

Ann Darlington

Ann and her family opened Hall Hill Farm in 1981 as a tourist attraction, after showing people around at lambing time and it has continued to grow, even after being devastated by Foot & Mouth. They continue to operate a working farm alongside organising activities for visitors.


Nominated by:
Craig Williams MP (Cons)
Montgomeryshire

Morgan Tudor

Determined to carry on his Dad's legacy, Morgan took up the reins of his family farm after his father died tragically in a tractor accident. Since he has expanded the herd (now milking 500), employed local people in the business and alongside this has found the time and energy to give much back to the community.


Nominated by:
Daisy Cooper MP (Lib Dem)
St Albans

Cathy Leahy

Cathy has worked hard over many years as a trustee for the disabled trustee. However her most recent work as a key organiser of the St Albans Park Run has been fantastic. She has been one of the most regular weekly volunteers and is often the race director. It is not unheard of to get over 1000 runners at this weekly activity.


Nominated by:
Kemi Badenoch MP (Cons)
Saffron Walden

Graham Harvey

Graham has been Felstead Parish Council Chair for 18 years and a Councillor for 35 years in total. In addition, he has been an NFU group Secretary for 20 years helping the farming community in mid Essex in particular. I would like to thank Graham for all of his hard work for the constituency and the wider farming community.


Nominated by:
Sir Geoffrey Cox MP (Cons)
Torridge and West Devon

Andrew and Alison Musson

Andrew and Allison play an invaluable role in providing safe and supportive homes for their community's most vulnerable women and children.


Nominated by:
Steve Double MP (Cons)
St Austell and Newquay

Vicky Cartwright

Throughout the COVID-19 Vicky co-ordinated her parish’s community response, delivering literature and establishing a network of contacts for vulnerable people, running a prescription and shopping service and turning her dining room into a factory with her children to sew facemasks for the Cornwall scrubs group.


Nominated by:
Stephen Crabb MP (Cons)
Preseli Pembrokeshire

Edna Davies

Edna has given huge commitment to the local YFC movement and has been a Club Leader with Llysyfran YFC for over 40 years and has mentored, trained and supported countless young members and officers to gain confidence and learn new lifelong skills, particularly in public speaking, which has helped in their education and careers.


Nominated by:
Michael Fabricant MP (Cons)
Lichfield

Rob and Sally Mercer

Rob & Sally run educational projects which involve classes of school children visiting the farm to learn about food, farming and the countryside. They host between 80-90 such visits per year. They also run a charitable foundation donating 5-10% of their profits each year, concentrating on education, health and social mobility.


Nominated by:
Victoria Prentis MP (Cons)
Banbury

Martin Hamer

From clearing snow and delivering salt to houses in winter, to organising litter picks and offering a helping hand at village events, Martin can always be relied on to get stuck in. A champion of regenerative agriculture, Martin has long grown cover crops, as well as flower, nectar and wild bird mixes on headlands, and planted over 1000 trees last year alone.


Nominated by:
Alberto Costa MP (Cons)
South Leicestershire

Anthony Hopkins

At the start of the Ukrainian conflict Anthony quickly arranged a collection point for supplies on his farm and arranged transport of two articulated lorries to transport the aid to Slovakia and Poland. Via social media and other methods he collected emergency supplies including clothes, tents, medical supplies, etc.


Nominated by:
Esther McVey MP (Cons)
Tatton

Ian Norbury

Ian runs a pedigree Mobberley Aberdeen Angus herd and is keen to ensure that he farms in a sustainable way as possible and his farm is involved in Countryside stewardship along with selling the beef of his farm locally to pubs and restaurants.


Nominated by:
Mark Jenkinson MP (Cons)
Workington

Vaughan Hodgson

Vaughan has devoted his role as an active member of Allerdale Borough Council to helping those who may otherwise not have been seen or considered. Vaughan takes part in Farm Safety Week, raising awareness to local farmers about the importance of safety on farms for owners, employees, and contractors whilst at work.


Nominated by:
John Stevenson MP (Cons)
Carlisle

Neil Brough

Neil is very active in the farming community and an experienced and shrewd businessman. He's a dairy farmer with excellent cattle and farms using the latest technology such as robotic milking machines.


Nominated by:
Trudy Harrison MP (Cons)
Copeland

Alistair Mackintosh

Alistair is a leading Cumbrian farmer and has held many prominent NFU positions, including being a past County Chairman. He is passionate about British agriculture and the top quality food produced here in Cumbria.


Nominated by:
Dr Neil Hudson MP (Cons)
Penrith and The Border

Alex Dixon

Alex led and hosted the Cumbrian Young Farmers Southern District Field Day event in May this year, the first event of its kind since the pandemic. 


Nominated by:
Angela Rayner MP (Lab)
Ashton under Lyne

John Millin

John's Farm is on a very popular walking route and the staff always have a friendly smile for any passers by. They are only too happy to offer advice to any ramblers and will always go out of their way to clear the roads around their farm in adverse weather.


Nominated by:
Bill Esterson MP (Lab)
Sefton Central

Jonathan Connolly

Jonathan has undertaken cutting grass verges/hedges and groundwork at a Altcar Rifle range to assist in an event held there for soldiers with PTSD. He also takes part in the Christmas Tractor Run in Liverpool, and donates to local charities from his PYP pumpkin event in Hightown. 

Nominated by:
Dr James Davies MP (Cons)
Vale of Clwyd

Ivor Beech

Ivor has recently suffered the loss of his nephew, not only has Ivor continued through this turbulent time with tremendous strength, he continues to actively engage with stakeholders on behalf of the agricultural industry.


Nominated by:
David Davies MP (Cons)
Monmouth

Lyndon Edwards MBE

Within his peer group, Lyndon is considered the 'go to' person for almost everything related to livestock farming. His passion, commitment and understanding of the industry are exemplary and he has given up countless hours to educate people about agricultural matters.


Nominated by:
Ben Lake MP (Plaid Cymru)
Ceredigion

Tom Cowcher

Tom is the Director of a not-for-profit organisation managed by volunteers, to help build a strong and viable future for the communities of Llandysul and Pont-Tyweli through integrated action to sustain, enhance and promote the area`s environment, local economy, distinctive culture and quality of community life.


Nominated by:
Nusrat Ghani MP (Cons)
Wealden

Peter Appleton

Peter is a third-generation dairy farmer whose farm also co-hosts a bluebell walk trail which attracts 23,000 visitors annually and has already raised in excess of £1m for local charities. Peter and his wife Jackie are passionate about teaching children about where their food comes from and host "Open Farm Days".


Nominated by:
Tim Loughton MP (Cons)
East Worthing and Shoreham

Hugh Passmore

Hugh runs “Open Farm Sundays” as well as welcoming schools and larger groups, educating on food production and farming in the natural environment. Hugh’s farm has long been associated with good environmental practices and works closely with local organisations on this. 


Nominated by:
Mims Davies MP (Cons)
Mid Sussex

Dan Burdett

Dan's work on ecological and regenerative farming systems is inspiring and his farm is always open to locals to roam freely and enjoy the countryside.


Nominated by:
Nick Gibb MP (Cons)
Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

James Baird

James has partnered with six other major landowners in the Sussex Weald to create the Weald to Waves project, the mission is to improve connections for wildlife and enable nature recovery by building a wildlife corridor 50 miles in length from the Ashdown Forest to the Climping Gap near Littlehampton.


Nominated by:
Nigel Evans MP (Cons)
Ribble Valley

Graham Young

Alongside his wife Janet, Graham runs a herd of almost 200 cows who are milked using their voluntary milking system, as well as keeping his farm shop stocked with local produce from the surrounding area. Graham has opened up his farm to local people and is consistently speak out for farming and for the local area.


Nominated by:
Damian Green MP (Cons)
Ashford

Owen Piper

Owen is always promoting farming to young people. The family a have run various charity horse riding event and are keen advocates for public access as well as important environmental work, introducing hedgerows, diverse mixes of wildflower and grasses as well as preserving wet grassland in their path.


Nominated by:
Rosie Duffield MP (Lab)
Canterbury

John Hinchliff

John has a passion to educate pupils about food production and the farm to fork journey, as well as farming in the natural environment and the importance of delivering environmental benefit. John has also appeared in various media discussing vital ways to develop climate resilient varieties to combat climate change.


Nominated by:
Laura Trott MP (Cons)
Sevenoaks

James Edgar

James educates people of all ages about food production and the environment, hosting over 1000 people during Open Farm Sunday every year. During their last ‘open day’, they raised £1500 for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.


Nominated by:
Helen Grant MP (Cons)
Maidstone and The Weald

Peter Hall

Peter has managed the family farm since 1980 and has been dedicated to farming in a manner that minimises the impact of food production on this ecologically rich Low Weald farm whilst developing science based organic and ICM systems to increase biodiversity and habitat


Nominated by:
Dr Caroline Johnson MP (Cons)
Sleaford and North Hykeham

Geoff Hotchkin

Geoff recently spent his 80th birthday driving the tractor for the trailer rides at the Sleaford Open Farm Sunday. He kept going after the official closing time to ensure every child had a go! He has dedicated his lifetime to promoting and supporting farming and the local community.


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