Voices from the Land – 2017

The “Voices from the Land – Farmers of the Yorkshire Dales” project consisted of collecting photographic, written and oral history material about farming practices and landscape features in the Yorkshire Dales as it is today and compares these to information gathered over the last century.

The project was hosted by the Farmer Network Ltd and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund, with support from the Dales Countryside Museum.

The project ran from April 2016 to March 2018 with photographer and interviewer Rob and Harriet Fraser working with farmers, Leeds University research students and local history volunteers gathering information about current farming practices in the Dales and comparing these with historical records from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Students and Volunteers researching in the museum’s research room. Credit – Rob Fraser

Throughout the project, 51 family members from 27 Yorkshire Dales farm businesses were interviewed and photographed, and two of these farmers also hosted school visits. The interviews were conducted by the project researcher and photographer – Rob and Harriet Fraser – with the assistance of three Leeds University students and eight local volunteers.

The material in the form of photos, interviews and accounts of the interviewers’ experiences were exhibited at the Dales Countryside Museum at Hawes from October 2017 to March 2018.

Martin Coates of Redshaw Farm, Widdle, with some of his Hereford herd. He is one of the farmers to take part in Voices From The Land. Credit – Rob Fraser.

The project also has a website at www.dalesfarmers.co.uk , which includes photos, interviews and blogs.