Till the Cows Come Home...
Images | Film | Text | Artist Statement

1. Midtown Farm, Great Strickland, Cumbria. January 2002. One of the first farms to be culled out in the Penrith area. It took ten days before the slaughtered stock could be moved to the pyre site. Meanwhile the carcasses were left in the farm buildings,  just outside the farmhouse and in the centre of the village. Brian Strong, who had milked their cows all his working life was traumatised by the event. The small images are from a video record made by younger members of the family.

2. Chalk Lodge Farm, Dalston, September 2001. The disinfected dairy cattle shed.  

3. Hespin Wood landfill site near Carlisle, November 2001. Thirty thousand tonnes of cattle & sheep carcasses were buried here in pits lined with domestic waste.  One of three Cumbria County Council owned landfill sites used for carcass disposal during the epidemic and the largest such site in the UK.

4. Julian Bower Farm, Cliburn, Cumbria. October 2002. Thousands of uninfected pigs were slaughtered over two days in March 2001. Rifles were routinely used to kill the breeding sows. John Clapperson the farm manager, who had worked with pigs all his working life made this photographic record. The farm later restocked on 'high health' but it took nearly two years to get back to where they were. - Since it has gone.

5. Kellsprings, Sebergham, Cumbria. September 2001. FMD was found on one of three farms owned by the Mitchell brothers March 2001, so all their beef cattle, dairy cattle and sheep were culled as 'suspicious contacts'. The cattle carcasses were left  for ten days before being moved to a big pyre site at Hesket Hall. Bob Mitchell and his brothers made a photographic record of the process. Subsequently, there were endless problems with clean up, reinstatement and restocking.

6. The stripped out former milking parlour, West View Farm, Temple Sowerby, March 2002. In the context of a declining milk price, many of those who lost small dairy herds chose not to go back into dairy farming.  

7. Thwaites Farm, Welton, October 2001. An electrician documents the distinctions between pre-existing corrosion and disinfection damage on behalf of DEFRA.  

8. Farm dispersal sale, Little Strickland, February 2002. The Rebank family at Townend Farm was selling up. Although he loved farming, the eldest son could see no future in it and had chosen to leave to study history instead of restocking and taking on  the tenancy from his father.

9. Farm dispersal sale, Little Strickland, February 2002. George Cass, a tenant farmer and renowned beef finisher had lost all his sheep, then the beef cattle and had decided to sell up. Many local farmers had been in near isolation and hadn't seen each  other for up to a year.

10. November 3rd 2001. 'MAFF Guy' at Kings Meaburn, in the 'Penrtih Spur'.  

11.The Holliday children at Clifton Hall Farm, Penrith, April 2002.  

12. Musgrave Hall Farm, Skelton, April 2003. Many dairy farmers took the opportunity to replace or update their dairy parlours. The Grierson family largely built the new parlour themselves, as did many other farmers.   

13. Precautions at one of the first post-FMD livestock auctions. Borderway Mart, Carlisle, March 2002.  

14. Post-FMD sale of pedigree dairy cattle. Borderway Mart, Carlisle, March 2002.   

15. Post-FMD sale of pedigree Limousin cattle. Borderway Mart, Carlisle, March 2002.   

16. Steadman Dodd with the Limousin bull, Cloughhead Radar at West View Farm, Temple Sowerby, April 2002. The Dodd family hoped the champion bull would provide an excellent pedigree for their new Limousin herd. Unfortunately Cloughhead Radar turned out   to be infertile. A bitter blow and another long setback.

17. Milburn Farms, Millburn, July 2003.  

18. Milburn Farms, Appleby, October 2003. Construction of a state-of-the-art rotary parlour.   

19. Appleby Show, August 2003. By the summer of 2003 all the agricultural shows were running again. While many farmers were showing their new stock, the Hailstone Pedigree Holsteins had escaped the epidemic.