Want to know more about everyone’s favourite farmer? Here are 16 things you (probably) didn’t know about Countryfile‘s Adam Henson, ranging from braving the dangers of diving in the Great Barrier Reef to Braveheart.
1. Adam and his three sisters helped their father on the Cotswold Farm Park since its opening in 1971. His first countryside memory is being knocked over by a flock of sheep.
2. Adam began running his father’s farm in 1999.
3. Cotswold Farm Park was the first in the country of its kind. It now attracts 70,000 visitors a year and in 2014 won Farm Attraction of the Year.
4. Adam completed a year’s agricultural work experience at Chatsworth Estate and then gained a Higher National Diploma in Agriculture and its management at Seale-Hayne Agriculture College in Devon.
5. Adam travelled for over a year with close friend Duncan Andrews, working on arable and sheep stations in Australia and then a kiwi plantation in New Zealand, before travelling to California and Canada. He said it was hard work, but well worth it, as he was saving money to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
6. Adam has a TV family history, with comedian grandfather Leslie Henson; father Joe Henson, who presented a countryside programme with Angela Rippon and Phil Drabble; and Uncle Nicky Henson, who appeared in shows such as Inspector Morse and Fawlty Towers, where he played Mr Johnson, the young man in The Psychiatrist episode who irritates Basil.
7. Adam has two children, Ella and Alfie, and believes growing up in the country has ensured a brilliant childhood for them both.
8. In 2010, Adam won Farmers Weekly‘s Champion of the Year Award. He was described as a tireless ambassador for British farming who gave the general public a keen insight into the profession.
9. Adam’s farm in the Cotswolds pioneers rare breed conservation. His father began the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in 1973, and the farm still keeps herds of rare animals, including old spot pigs and highland cattle.
10. Among other things, his farm also grows malting barley for making lager and Maris Otter to produce real ale
11. Adam loves dogs and currently has three canine companions. He’s said he can’t imagine living without them. In fact if he had to be an animal he’d be a dog, because of their loyal, hardworking and loving nature.
12. Nonetheless, several of his sheep have been killed by dogs. He wrote about the problem of sheep worrying for us here.
13. As a child, Adam loved pottery and even considered a career in it.
14. The top three things on Adam’s bucket list are visiting the Galapagos Islands, seeing the Northern lights in Iceland; and watching a pod of orcas.
15. Before his TV career began in 2001, Adam’s previous claim to fame was appearing in Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning Braveheart. He took two English longhorns up to the Great Glen, to feature in the film, and briefly appeared in the scene where they bring home the body of William Wallace’s father.
16. One of his neighbours in the Cotswolds has erected a wind turbine to help power all his poultry houses.