Air ambulance©Calyx/Rex

Tributes have been paid to a young farmer who died after an accident on the family farm.

Billy Rudge, 20, died after becoming trapped under farm machinery at Baysham Farm, Sellack, near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Emergency crews were called to the farm shortly after 11.30m on Monday (9 February) to reports of a man trapped under a tractor.

Police, fire and ambulance crews, including an air ambulance, were dispatched.

However, despite their efforts, Mr Rudge could not be saved and he was declared dead at the scene.

Nigel Griffiths, headteacher of John Kyrle High School, Ross-on-Wye, led tributes to Mr Rudge, a former pupil.

“We at the school are deeply saddened to hear of Billy’s tragic death,” Mr Griffiths told the Ross Gazette.

“During his time at John Kyrle High School, between 2006 and 2011, Billy showed he had a natural aptitude for practical work, which he wanted to build upon in the agricultural community.

“He had successful work placements at WyeWood and Coppice Farm, St Weonards. Adam Evans at Coppice Farm said Billy had kept in touch with him since leaving John Kyrle and had a very successful future ahead of him in farming.”

Further tributes were paid to Mr Rudge on social media sites.

His girlfriend, Elaine Arthurs, changed her Facebook profile with his photographs.

She wrote: “Billy was the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful person I have ever met and I’m going to miss him so so much!

“He is irreplaceable and I’m already so lost without him! Words can’t explain the feelings right now! It’s nice to know that so many people cared about him!

“I will never ever forget you, Love you always Billy!”

Sophie Probert wrote: “Those who knew him will truly miss him. A number 1 lad. Always there when you needed a chat and was always so kind and loving.

“Taken way too early. I’ve had some amazing memories with you Billy. You will be truly missed. R.I.P Billy Rudge. Xxx.”

Claire Worden, chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said: “We are incredibly saddened to hear of the death of Billy Rudge of Pontrilas Young Farmers’ Club. 

“To lose one of our own members in this way is simply devastating and we offer our sincerest condolences to Billy’s family, his friends, and everyone associated with Pontrilas YFC and Herefordshire FYFC. 

“We will be offering support to all young farmers who have been affected by this terrible tragedy.”