It must be said that this year has been one of the most bizarre I have ever experienced. Following the early finish to term two, I left Harper Adams and returned to work in Cumbria for lambing. Within the first 24 hours of being there, the government announced a nationwide lockdown; meaning I would be stuck in Cumbria for the foreseeable future.

Although lockdown altered many aspects of farm life, the lambs started dropping thick and fast, providing little time for any form of respite. Initially this was fine, as lambing is often an all-consuming time of year, but as the weeks rolled by, I was beginning to find it more and more difficult to be ‘locked down’. What started out as a four-week period of work to earn some money for the final term, resulted in a 14 weeklong period from lambing all the way to shearing and silaging.

Working 65+ hours a week allowed little time for any sort of break, but I can’t say I would have it any other way. I recently returned home to Kent before calving starts in August, allowing me to have a proper break before the work kicks back into gear! Although most of this year has been ‘postponed’ by the Covid-19 outbreak, I hope to be returning to Harper this September; attempting to resume some sort of relative normality.

Benjamin Read

Kent Rural Scholar

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