Countryfile’s Adam Henson addresses ‘really difficult’ move: ‘It’s been tough’

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Farmer and presenter Adam Henson has opened up on making a “really difficult” decision about his family business in order to protect their future and the livelihoods of those who work on his Cotswold Farm Park. He admitted he is “dreading” a second wave and what it would mean for the show and the countryside.

Opening up on how he was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Adam shared: “The commercial side of the farm, we had to carry on looking after our crops and looking after all of our animals.

“Obviously, being very careful with the social distancing of the team, swabbing down machines when we swap machines.

“Very, very difficult when you’re using hand tools on the farm and those sorts of things.

“But we’ve managed to get through it with nobody becoming ill, and managing to carry on doing our usual jobs, and then on the Cotswold farm Park, which is our tourist enterprise, and all our lovely rare breed, we had to close completely.”

He went on to add: “That was really, really difficult.

“We have 53 staff on furlough and all animals giving birth and doing all the things they do in the spring, but no one to look at them.

“So it’s been tough, but now we are back open again and with all the social distancing precautions in place.

“Lots of people turning up to enjoy the countryside, the great outdoors, and if you’re going to go out think it’s a good place to be in field for looking at animals.

“So yes, we’ve had lots of people coming back to us.”

But while the Cotswold Farm Park is back up and running, Adam explained he is concerned about what the future holds.

“I’m dreading the idea of going back into lockdown, you know, these regional lock downs are quite scary,” he remarked.

“But for the countryside, I feel that we’re probably in quite a strong position in the way we’re managing our landscape, the way we’re looking after our animals the way we’re, you know, diversifying and opening the countryside up to the general public and communicating in a really positive way.

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“I think, you know, social media and some of those platforms, you can go on to to find out about what’s going on out there.

“As far as communicating schools and consumers about what they’re growing is, is really, really positive.”

Adam is currently preparing for this year’s Countryfile Ramble with Children in Need.

The farmer and his sheepdog Peg will be joined for part of their ramble by Rayane and his support dog, Diesel.

Also joining Adam on the second half of the ramble will be Molly who has Cerebral Palsy, along with her disability assistance dog Chess.

Speaking about why it is so important to him, Adam explained: “To understand the work that Children in Need does to support people who are really facing some very difficult disadvantages, then, it’s great to be part of it and, and yes, some are very inspiring and often bringing a tear to your eye.”

He added: “It makes you appreciate how lucky you are as an individual with your family and your children.

“But also realising how strong some of these characters are that can just get on with life and make the most of what they’ve got and with the support of some wonderful charities and wonderful people around them.”

Since the Countryfile Ramble began in 2015, it has raised more than £7.9million for the charity.

For information on how to get involved and how to ramble safely (including links to the latest Covid-19 Government guidance), visit the Ramble Hub at bbc.co.uk/countryfile.

Countryfile airs Sunday on BBC One at 5.45pm.

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