Farmer’s Tales: George Latchmore Talks Farming & Wildlife
We’re fascinated with the connection between farmers and their environment, and often find that they have many interesting stories to tell. These individual experiences can vary greatly depending on where they come from, what product they produce and what position they hold on their farm.
This week we met up with local farmhand George Latchmore at The Roseland Inn, Philleigh to talk about his life as a farmer and what, if any, connection he has with the wildlife in his local area. We’d like to thank the The Roseland Inn for giving us sole access to their lovely pub garden for this interview and, of course, George for taking time out of his day to talk to CMG.
Tell us a bit about your background, how long have you been farming for?
Well, I went to school like any other kid in my area and I did alright I suppose. I grew up in Truro, so I had something of an urban upbringing, or at least as urban as you can get in Cornwall! I lived on a council estate with my family and life was pretty ordinary: school, home, football, Sunday Roasts, that kind of thing.
So what made you decide on farming as a career?
Well, I had a friend at school see, he was from a farming family and would often invite me back to his for a weekend. On these weekends I got this glimpse of an alternate life, one where your parents go to work in the fields just outside your house, instead of driving 2 hours a day to their offices. The air smelled different out there and I liked getting up early to help with the cows. I liked it so much that I asked for a regular job there on the weekends, and that’s how I started out when I was 16, about 10 years ago now.
You manage a dairy farm of our own now, do you still have enough time to stay hands on with the farm?
I like to stay hands on as much as possible, probably a little too much if I’m being completely honest! I’ve got a lot to keep track of on a day-to-day basis, but I try as much as possible to get outside and see the herd first thing in the morning. There’s obviously the numbers and business side of the farm to think about, but at the end of the day I’m responsible for both the livelihood of my employees and my livestock, so it makes sense to try and see them on a regular basis.
Do you feel like this time spent outside has led to you having a greater connection with the wildlife in Cornwall?
I wouldn’t say I actively considered my relationship with nature that much in the first few years of farming. I just liked being outside and having this purpose that felt greater than whatever I was doing in school. Now that I’ve spent a good 8 years working full-time, 7 days a week, I’ve come to appreciate how the seasons change and how this effects the birdsong, flowers, all of it! Living and working in rural Cornwall has given me a connection with nature that is truly rewarding.