Tom Bradshaw

I farm in a small village near Colchester in Essex growing a range of combinable crops including oilseed rape, malting barley, milling wheat, peas and beans.

I was born and bred a farmer, being bought up on a small family farm with some wheat but also livestock. Mum and Dad never pushed me towards farming but neither did they discourage it.

From a very early age I can remember being interested in why crops grew differently.
Tom Bradshaw, arable farmer

I vividly remember standing outside the dairy with Dad when I was in my early teens, looking towards a field of wheat and asking why the patches were dying off. I guess it is this intrigue and attention to detail which has led to my journey of discovery over the past few years.

I have been incredibly lucky to travel around the world on a Nuffield Farming Scholarship trying to understand how we can manage our soils in a sustainable method to make sure that future generations are able to produce good wholesome food from the land we farm. Although I have only been involved with farming as a career for a decade, it is incredible how the technology has developed and how trends are changing. I can't imagine where we are going to be in another 30 years time.

Reflecting back over the past year I realise I have been incredibly lucky to have been involved with the filming of this programme. It has been a great opportunity and I’m sure the memories will last a lifetime.

It has also made me appreciate more than ever how lucky we are to do the job we do. Things that I have taken for granted have been highlighted to me when discussing my job with the recording teams over the year. In particular the North Essex countryside is incredibly picturesque, and not what any of the cameramen expected when they were coming to record in Essex. We have an abundance of wildlife, whether it be deer, grey partridge or the regular appearance of skylarks singing above our heads while recording was taking place.