News review 2014: Farmers’ stories

Farmers Weekly covers hundreds of stories each year. Here is a look back at some of the more poignant, dramatic and heart-rending issues that we covered in 2014.

Crooks target arable farmer for 11th time

Charles Anyan

Lincolnshire tenant farmer Charles Anyan called for better police protection after thieves targeted his farm in January for the 11th time in three years.

In the latest burglary at Belle Vue Farm, near Gainsborough, raiders smashed through a three-brick deep workshop wall and stole a red Honda quad bike.

Tractor run in memory of young farmer

Tractor run1

A charity tractor run in memory of a YFC vice-president killed in a car accident attracted an incredible 300 machines.

Catrin Vaughan’s former clubmates at Llysyfran YFC in Pembrokeshire organised the event in June and raised £10,000 for the charity set up in her name.

US fighter jet crash foils potato harvest plan

US fighter jet crash on farm ©Rex

A Lincolnshire farmer’ s potato harvest plans were thwarted after a US fighter jet crashed into his spud field.

The pilot of the single-seat F-15D jet managed to eject from the cockpit before crashing into the 3ha field of potatoes in Weston Hills, near Spalding.

Shocked farmer Tim Clay of Holly House Farm, Whaplode, had been due to harvest the field in the first week of October.

Young farmers warned of dangers of online dares

Young farmers were warned not to put their lives at risk by taking part in the drinking dare game Neknominate.

Social media was buzzing with videos of people drinking to excess and downing potentially lethal cocktails before nominating a friend to do the same.

A second craze began in the summer with the ice bucket challenge.

People emptied buckets of freezing water over their heads for charity in a seemingly innocuous game. But as the craze spread people went to greater lengths and sadly some stunts ended in tragic accidents.

Prized-bull shot dead by police

bull shot by police ©North News and Pictures

A furious farmer whose escaped bull was shot and killed by police in Yorkshire lambasted the marksmen responsible.

The 1.25t Blonde d’Aquitaine bull had escaped on to a road on 1 September. But it returned to its field and was just 50 feet from its shed when two teams of marksmen killed it, firing multiple shots from high powered rifles.

Owner beef farmer Philip Marley, from Bedale, said that the killing had been totally unnecessary and called for an inquiry. North Yorkshire Police said it was handling a complaint through its Professional Standards Department.

Victory at last for 1,000-cow dairy


A 1,000-cow dairy should finally become operational during 2015 following a six-year legal battle that ended in victory for Welshpool farmer Fraser Jones.

Excavation work was able to start at the site this autumn after planning permission was granted for the project. An 11m-high earth bund has been created at Lower Leighton Farm to act as a barrier between the site and the nearby village of Leighton.

Mr Jones endured a £300,000 legal battle with local residents and Powys County Council, which initially objected to his plans.

But the Welsh government ruled the build would bring economic benefits and could go ahead following a public inquiry earlier this year.

Mr Jones said he was relieved building work had started. The dairy should be operational within 12 months.

The unit will consist of three cubicle buildings, collecting yards and a 72-point Westphalia rotary parlour.

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