Kevin Littleboy farms
243ha (600 acres) as
Howe Estates at Howe,
Thirsk, North Yorks. The
medium sandy loam in
the Vale of York supports
potatoes, winter wheat,
rape and barley, plus
grass for sheep
SOME people rudely suggest I should see a shrink and it is amazing what they will do to make this happen.
Recently, I had to leave a fund-raising barbecue early because I spotted a hot air balloon rapidly descending towards my farm. On arrival I found it had landed in my Siberia barley, next to an 80m x 400m set-aside strip. The pilot was fined £550, not unreasonable for the offences committed, I thought: interrupting a party; missing my set-aside by 10m; and, you guessed it, being a shrink.
On a serious note, a timely tip to all about tractors and road traffic. Unfortunately, we have been involved in two road accidents involving tractors. The first involved a car which, on braking, skidded across the road and smashed the tractors front axle. The second was a van, travelling too fast, which took its wing mirror off on the front wheel of a tractor pulling out of a junction.
Both have been protracted cases, one ending recently at Darlington County Court precisely 2 years, 364 days, 23.30 hours after the incident. The main reasons we won both cases was that I took photographs of the scene, measured the skid marks, and made notes on the point of impact etc. at the time. All our vehicles now carry disposable cameras for any future incident.
I suggest you do the same and should an accident happen, as well as photographing the scene, do something I forgot to do – take a picture of the driver of the other vehicle.
My thanks to NFU Mutual Insurance for their perseverance in both cases and to Russells of Boroughbridge for rebuilding the tractor so quickly.
Hang on! I dont believe it! Here comes another balloon… John Stables of Blue Sky Balloons of Knaresborough has just landed on a 20m wide set-aside strip missing the crop, hedges and trees. Most impressive, I cant even fine him, as under IACS rules we are not allowed financial payments on set-aside. He obviously knows the rules. Damn. *
Keep a disposable camera in the tractor cab in case of road traffic accidents – it could provide vital evidence, says Kevin Littleboy.