There's just four days to go until the 2023 Northern Farmer Awards and we're continuing our profiles of the exceptional finalists chosen across ten categories.

The winners will be announced at a spectacular awards ceremony at Pavilions of Harrogate, the Great Yorkshire Showground, on Thursday.

Also to be revealed on the night will be the overall 2023 Northern Farmer of the Year, chosen by the panel of judges from the winners of the ten categories.

Finalists for Outstanding Achievement, sponsored by Strutt & Parker


Strutt & Parker

Strutt & Parker


Brown Jug Farm, Kinninvie, in County Durham, is a 70-acre grass farm and part of the Raby Estates. Peter Stubbs was born on the farm more than 80 years ago and has known no other home. He took over the tenancy from his father. Peter’s grandfather was a tenant on another Raby-owned farm.

As a younger man, Peter ran the farm as a dairy enterprise and then changed over to suckler cows and a few sheep. Now at over 80 years old, Peter and wife Gladys are taking things a little easier. In autumn, 300 sheep arrive from other farms in the area to graze the meadows and fatten up before being sold. Then in the winter, another moorland farmer brings some of his flock to spend winter on the better pasture.

Peter said this gives him the chance to see stock in the fields. He can walk round and check and feed them but he does not need to do the heavy work anymore. However, he still maintains walls and fences and makes hay and haylage, for feeding to the sheep in winter and also to keep the livery clients supplied with winter feed.


Gladys and Peter Stubbs

Gladys and Peter Stubbs


More than 30 years ago, Peter and Gladys took a stand against rural thefts. They patrolled at night around the local area and encouraged family, friends and other local farmers to get involved, with the couple co-ordinating everything long before the use of mobile phones and emails.

Their efforts led to the creation of the Teesdale and Weardale Farm Watch, which was such a success that the scheme was expanded throughout County Durham and has now also been adopted in other regions round the country.

As a result, four years ago, the couple were awarded MBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services to Agriculture and the Community.


Northern Farmer Awards 2023

Northern Farmer Awards 2023


Peter Fall was born into farming 75 years ago and until a few years ago farmed alongside his brother who passed away at the age of 89.


Peter Fall of The Barn That Rocks

Peter Fall of The Barn That Rocks


Until 2000, Grazing Nook Farm, at Patrick Brompton, was 250 acres of traditional mixed farming. In 2001 it lost all its stock due to foot-and-mouth on a neighbouring farm and changed to arable production, with Peter, his brother and Peter’s son, Andrew, focussing more on the arable side of things, although they took in sheep for other farmers to graze the grassland.

Now the farm is run mainly by Andrew, with 140 acres of arable crops including biscuit wheat, malting barley, barley for feed and oats for both Quaker and Mornflake. Alongside this is 110 acres of grass, 23 acres of which are protected Lowland Flower Meadows, which is in a HLS scheme.

Peter’s nomination for this award is also due to the money he has raised for charity from music events held in his barn over the past 12 years. The idea came about because he had never had a holiday in his life, and he and his wife, Barbara, wanted to bring people together to have a good time.

He cleared out a barn, organised a band and invited along friends and family. It was such a success that the following year he got a licence and sold 400 tickets to raise money for charity. And so began The Barn That Rocks. Last year, all 800 tickets for the concert sold out in three days, with a total of £107,561 raised for charities.

Recently the main beneficiary of the fundraising has been the Friends of the Friarage, the Northallerton hospital that serves the dales and the farming community.

READ MORE: Northern Farmer Awards 2023, Young Farmer of the Year finalists

Over the past 18 months, Hayley Cook and Paul Elgey have worked together to completely turn around a failing farm park. They were brought together when Monk Farm Park, Bagby, was bought in February 2021 by new owners York 44 Ltd, and York House Leisure, who were progressive and keen to improve and expand the business.


Monk Park Farm

Monk Park Farm


Hayley was brought in as operations manager, and is mainly office-based dealing with stock control, staffing, HR, wages and some front of house work, as well as working on events and themes. She is working with Paul Elgey, who is the farm and animal manager.

Paul joined the original Monk Park Farm team 20 years ago, from Lightwater Valley. Paul’s parents were from a farming background but not farmers and Paul wanted to work with animals.

READ MORE: Northern Farmer Awards 2023, Family Run Farm of the Year finalists

In February 2021, the new owners allowed Paul to make immediate changes and improvements and plan more improvements for the future, alongside Hayley.

Before re-opening in April 2021, the entrance, toilets and cafe were refurbished, the outdoor play area was improved and a huge new sandpit added. During the year, they added electric karts. For 2022, they extended the Petting Barn, installed a new Kids Mini Train Ride, two gigantic Air Bouncers, refurbished the picnic and play area near the pond and have been working hard to make paths more pram and wheelchair-friendly.

There is also a café offering hot and cold food, ice creams and treats, plus a well stocked gift shop and various feeding stations and locations around the farm where visitors are welcome to touch and get hands on with some of the animals.

The farm is open from Easter to end of October, seven days a week, and last year, the park had 45,000 visitors.