Sunday, 12 November 2023 - 11 minutes
Hill farming is a way of life and, although the hill farmer in the north of England has changed with the times, the traditions remain strong and the dramatic upland landscape is eternal. In Hill Farming in the North of England, photographer John Bentley has had access to the world of the hill farmer.
Here, Julian talks with John about his love of Photography, the Dales... and the Flying Scotsman! John Bentley, who lives in Settle, retired some years ago and that gave him an opportunity to pick up on his photography. You may have seen his exhibition at the world's smallest gallery, the Gallery on the Green in Settle. His work at Auction Marts has been featured on the BBC's Countryfile and His iconic Flying Scotsman over Ribblehead was featured on Royal Mail's First Class Stamps earlier this year.
Hill farming is round-the-clock work, season to season, still predominantly done on family farms. In this book farmers at work are shown through the seasons of the year, which dictate the farming calendar, from providing winter feed for the livestock – mostly sheep and cattle – to shearing, haymaking, lambing in the spring and ‘tupping’ in the autumn, and going to sales, shows and sheepdog trials. It is a visual portrait of a remarkable way of life and part of our farming heritage.
Look through these photographs and you will quickly see the unique challenges of hill farming in the stunning but often harsh landscape of the north of England.
The book is available from Limestone Books and the Folly in Settle and from other good booksellers across the UK.