Row of cows at farm in Shropshire

Ploughing your own furrow

29/07/19Ploughing your own furrow

Farming has changed much in the last few decades, with some methods of agricultural working fading into the mists of time. You don’t often see someone wielding a scythe in the fields these days, or grass for silage being gathered with a rake and pikel. But certain aspects of traditional farming are being preserved for future generations. A good example of this is the ‘ploughing match’.      

To be the best

These are competitions that are held in rural areas where challengers compete to plough fields. There are various degrees of class, from novice to expert, and prizes for the best in their fields. There are also separate competitions for ploughing using tractors and horses. Ploughing dates back to the beginnings of agriculture and these ancient skills have been passed on through the generations. The modern incarnation using tractors can be just as tricky to master as horses or oxen, and match ploughing isn’t as simple as it might look to the untrained eye.

Regional events

Forge Property Consultants will be attending two of these events – the Cheshire Ploughing Match and Cruckton Ploughing Match – both of which take place in September. The Cheshire Ploughing and Hedgecutting Society, which runs the Cheshire event, was established over a century ago and the 2019 event will be its 95th match. Attending these events gives us the opportunity to meet new faces and reacquaint ourselves with old friends, whilst enjoying a day out in (hopefully) sunshine. The horse-drawn ploughing itself is an especially magnificent spectacle.

Ploughing matches are one of those events – like country shows – that remain embedded in the heart of the rural community. The traditional face of farming may have changed over the years, but these agricultural skills are still relevant to people to whom farming the land is still an important and irreplaceable way of life. So look out for us at these two matches, where we’ll be cheering on the competitors and may the best ploughman (or woman) win.

Charles Lawson, Director

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