Clarkson’s Farm viewers raise £30,000 for TB stricken dairy farmer

A public crowdfunding project started by Clarkson’s Farm viewer Rebecca Poole has raised more than £30,000 for dairy farmers Emma and Pete Ledbury, after the show highlighted their devastating losses as a result of bovine TB.

Headed by former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the latest season sheds light on many of the often untold hardships facing British farmers – from government red tape and battles with local council to troubles with harvests and calving.

See also: Find all our bovine TB content in one place

In an episode titled “Badgering”, dairy farmer Emma Ledbury, who supplies Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm Shop with milkshakes and milk for the vending machine, tells him that she has lost almost half of her dairy herd to TB.  

Viewers from across the country have been donating to a GoFundMe page, within an initial target of £10,000. With the fund now at just over £30,000, the Ledbury family have been stunned by the support.

Emma told Farmers Weekly: “It has been a bit of a shock really – as it got bigger and bigger, we were completely overwhelmed about it – but it is really exciting and really lovely of Becci to set it up.

“It’s such a vast amount of money, and there is a bigger picture in terms of the message of the effect on farmers with TB, and being shut down, and the costs that are involved with being shut down.”

Emma Ledbury selfie with herd in background

Emma Ledbury © Emma Ledbury


The pair have decided to put a small portion of the funds to use on their farm, so they can badger-proof the main shed where the cattle are housed.

The remaining funds will be donated to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (Rabi).

Emma said: “We can’t have all of this money – it’s bonkers. As much as you could easily spend it on various improvements, it’s really important that it is shared around.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we were looking at borrowing some money from Rabi just to cover the school uniform costs of the kids going back, so the fact that this charity is here is really important.”

The Ledbury family’s herd tested negative at its most recent TB test in January, but it has still suffered from years of on-and-off positive cases.

“Pete was farming in north Devon originally and a lot of those cattle had moved down from Hertfordshire with his parents, so they had been a part of his grandfather’s herd, with bloodlines going back to the 1950s and 1960s,” said Emma. 

“He gets really upset when he thinks about all of the bloodlines we’ve lost.”

Mental health

Passionate about supporting the mental health of farmers affected by TB, Emma and Pete hope Rabi will be able to share the funds with the farmers who need it most.

Emma said: “The suicide rate in farmers is ridiculous – there is nothing for the farmer who has, in many cases, lost their complete livelihood.

“You get shut down, you can’t buy in, and you can’t move out. It’s really important to raise the mental health side of things.

“It’s really soul-destroying. It would be nice if, when you went down with it, you got a letter along with your TB letters to say if you’re struggling, here’s a number you can call or someone to talk to.”

A show of public support

Support from members of the public has been flooding in, with hundreds of comments on the GoFundMe page showing a new-found understanding of the challenges facing British farmers since series two of Clarkson’s Farm aired.

Christopher Adderley said: “I was delighted to see that someone had taken it upon themselves to raise money for Emma, who, like so many farmers, is struggling to make ends meet. As Jeremy said, quite correctly, farmers feed us and help to keep the countryside beautiful.”

Another viewer, Simon Thackeray, added: “The plight of farmers has been highlighted in stark detail by this show.”

The fundraiser has also extended abroad. 

Samuel Colt, a Texan dairy farmer, donated £5 and said: “The petty tyrants of West Oxfordshire Council may not have your backs, but people all across the world do. Thank you to Jeremy and the Clarkson’s Farm team for bringing these issues to the forefront.” 

Another American viewer, Anthony Trombello, donated £10 and said: “I live in Chicago. I’m not a farmer by any means, but you guys are the backbones of every country and the reason all of us have food on the table. So thank you for everything you do.”


  • Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution  – 0800 1884444
  • Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution – 0808 1234555
  • Farming Community Network – 0300 0111999