32 episodes

Voices From The Dales  is currently in Series Three, 'Swaledale Farmer'.  It's a mix of fresh interviews and clips from the Dales Countryside Museum's oral history archive.  All episodes are 15 minutes and presented by Andrew Fagg from Hawes. 

Voices From The Dales Andrew Fagg/Dales Countryside Museum

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Voices From The Dales  is currently in Series Three, 'Swaledale Farmer'.  It's a mix of fresh interviews and clips from the Dales Countryside Museum's oral history archive.  All episodes are 15 minutes and presented by Andrew Fagg from Hawes. 

    Swaledale Farmer pt.1: Deep Black (Christine Clarkson pt. 1)

    Swaledale Farmer pt.1: Deep Black (Christine Clarkson pt. 1)

    The new series is introduced by presenter Andrew Fagg. Then meet champion Swaledale sheep breeder Christine, checking on tup Mo. She shares the story of her farming career and her current thoughts on the direction of the Swaledale breed, as well as a conversation between tourists overheard in Muker’s famous meadows.

    • 15 min
    Swaledale Farmer pt.2: Eager To Learn (Christine Clarkson pt. 2)

    Swaledale Farmer pt.2: Eager To Learn (Christine Clarkson pt. 2)

    Christine speaks about wildflower identification, hay meadow management and peat depth testing. She reveals how the authorities once regarded Kisdon hill top as being of insufficient environmental interest to warrant stewardship payments, and closes with stirring advocacy of the importance of local communities.

    • 15 min
    Swaledale Farmer pt.3: So Much Grass (Sue Ridley)

    Swaledale Farmer pt.3: So Much Grass (Sue Ridley)

    Sue Ridley describes the unique location of Kexwith Farm in lower Swaledale. She humorously rejects the title of ‘farmer’s wife’, tells the story of the revival of a remnant of ancient woodland, and reveals how engagement with stewardship schemes has led to healthier stock and more grass.

    • 15 min
    Swaledale Farmer pt.4: Side By Side (Ray Ridley)

    Swaledale Farmer pt.4: Side By Side (Ray Ridley)

    As Ray gives his beloved White Park cattle a scratch in a rain-battered shed, he reveals how Swaledale sheep numbers have come down over the years as stewardship schemes have come in. He describes how lapwings and sheep ‘look out for each other’, how ‘scrapes’ have been dug to provide habitat for the birds, and how he grew up on the farm wondering at the abundance of wildlife.

    • 15 min
    Swaledale Farmer pt.5: Maar Rain No Hay (Michael Watson part 1).

    Swaledale Farmer pt.5: Maar Rain No Hay (Michael Watson part 1).

    Michael Watson fothers sheep in a high allotment with haylage and cake. He paints a picture of the scene in Upper Teesdale, and describes how much the stock means to him. The talk turns to the changing climate and Michael reveals that 2023 was the first time no hay was made at Stoney Hill.

    • 15 min
    Swaledale Farmer pt.6: A Big Part (Michael Watson part 2 and Rachel Watson)

    Swaledale Farmer pt.6: A Big Part (Michael Watson part 2 and Rachel Watson)

    Michael shares his knowledge of bird life on the farm, stressing that there is as much wildlife about as there ever was. He describes how the farm business is dealing with the government’s major change to farm payments. Michael shares his views on the Swaledale breed in the sheep shed, and there’s a cameo from daughter Rachel who describes her attraction to a career in hill farming.

    • 15 min

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