Charity Scarecrow Competition

Meet our Judges and find out what they are looking for in your scarecrows!

For your chance to win £250, enter our competition here

Graham Page

Graham joined Ensors in 1985 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant four years later. In 1996 he became office partner at the Haverhill office, before moving to Bury St Edmunds in 2007, when the two offices merged. Graham is an expert in accounting services for the agricultural sector and takes an active interest in the East Anglian farming sector.

Tell us a bit about your role as part the Ensors Ag team. 

As a partner in Ensors’ Ag Team, I am lucky enough to get out into the countryside and visit clients all over East Anglia and further afield, dealing with a wide range of farming and rural business clients, both large and small. I enjoy becoming a trusted advisor to our farming clients on a variety of issues, be it accounts, tax matters or wider decisions affecting the whole family.

What's the most unusual thing you've found yourself doing as part of your job? 

You mean, other than having to judge a Charity Scarecrow Competition...?

Outside of Ensors, what do you get up to?

Outside of work, my wife and I are keen house renovators. Our current house has been a major project. We keep telling ourselves we are finished but then manage to find another project!

Cricket is my sport – having played it from the age of 5 until I was around 50. Now I really enjoy following England cricket.

What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing UK farmers?

In my opinion it would be the loss of Basic Payment Scheme subsidy income, and the challenge of how to replace this.

And finally, what do you look for in a scarecrow?   

Aside from being effective at scaring away pests, if a scarecrow can make me chuckle, that goes a long way in my book!

Please click here if you would like to contact Graham

 

Brian Barker

©Tim Scrivener Photographer 07850 303986

Brian runs his family farm near Stowmarket, cropping 560ha and offering contract farming operations to several other farms. He is passionate about producing high yielding, high quality crops through sustainable farming practices with an emphasis on integrating the best wildlife conservation. Brian is currently Chairman for the School Farm Country Fair Education day and sits on the Suffolk Show Committee.

Tell us about what’s currently happening on the farm.

After a very busy harvest where we gathered last year’s crops into the store, we have recently completed preparing the land and planting this year’s winter crops. The green shoots are emerging and now the planning starts for growing these crops for their intended markets. We are also busy preparing for winter works on the farm and the workshop is busy servicing machinery, so they are all ready for the work ahead.

How are you involved in the Suffolk Show?

The Suffolk Show has been a part of my life since I was christened when I was made a life member by my late Grandfather. I have attended pretty much every show throughout my life. My family have all donned the bowler hats as stewards and it was inevitable, I would follow on. I now sit on the show committee and help organise the Farming Live demonstration area.

What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing UK farmers?

The farming industry is facing a time of huge challenge; the demand for food is ever increasing but the demand to protect the environment is also being pushed by so many. Farmers must balance food production with a sympathetic approach that allows wildlife to thrive and at the same time protect our natural resources. Yes, huge challenges but ones that farmers can play a major part in overcoming if they are prepared to think outside the box. The phrase ‘That’s the way we have always done it’ is, for me, the most dangerous phrase we can say as it stifles innovation.

And finally, what do you look for in a scarecrow?   

I like a bit of humour, fun and lots of colour. From the big to the small - they can all do the job,  so again ‘think outside the box’ and ‘enthusiasm brings luck’, two of my favourite phrases!

You can follow Brian on Twitter @The_Barker_Boys.

For more information regarding the Suffolk Show 2022, please visit the Suffolk Show website, here: https://suffolkshow.co.uk/suffolk-agricultural-association/.

 

Alex Phillimore

Alex Phillimore, Marketing and Communications Manager, FCN

Alex joined FCN in early 2020 and oversees the charity’s marketing and communications activity. Previously part of the award-winning University of Leicester press team, he publicised the discovery of King Richard III’s remains under a car park in Leicester in 2012. Alex then worked for a time for the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health where he developed a passion for workplace wellbeing and safety. The occupational challenges associated with agriculture motivated Alex to join FCN. He is an accredited PR practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and a member of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

Tell us a bit about the FCN.

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. FCN has over 400 volunteers, located throughout England and Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture and therefore have a great understanding of the issues farm workers and farming families regularly face. Our volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, regardless of whether the issue is personal or business-related.

In addition to local groups of volunteers, FCN runs a confidential national helpline (03000 111 999, open 7am-11pm every day of the year) and e-helpline (help@fcn.org.uk). Our volunteers will “walk with” anyone who seeks support and help them find a positive way through their problems. Each year we help approximately 6,000 people deal with a variety of issues, including financial difficulties, animal disease, mental health and family disputes.

What's one thing people may be surprised to know about the FCN? 

We’ve been going for 26 years – originally we were called The Farm Crisis Network, but rebranded in 2013 as The Farming Community Network. Part of the decision to rename our charity was because we don’t just help people in crisis – we’re here for everyone, and it’s important people ideally ask for help before they reach a crisis point.

How can people support the FCN?

FCN relies on donations in order to continue supporting the farm community. Donations really do make a huge difference and we are very grateful to everyone who chooses to support our charity. We welcome fundraisers, campaigns and other initiatives to help raise awareness and/or funds for FCN. Find out more about donating to FCN here: https://fcn.org.uk/donate/

What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing UK farmers?

UK agriculture is undergoing significant change in the coming years – and change is often scary. We need to ensure farmers are well supported, are able to farm sustainably, and know all of the options available to them.

And finally, what do you look for in a scarecrow? 

An effective scarecrow is one with the tenacity and courage to stand up to disruptive wildlife – whatever the cost. Treat your scarecrow well and they will reward you with loyalty for years to come.