Yew Tree Farm explores the intricacies of a working farm in the Test Valley near Romsey, England. The work aim's to express the embedded perspective of a farmer in this rural landscape. The short anecdotes from conversations that are coupled with the photographs give George, the main farmer at Yew Tree a voice in the work.
At the heart of the project is the intersection between the raw nature of untamed land and the farmer’s cultivation of his environment. The work intends to highlight the subtle nuances in this isolated landscape, the marks of over thirty years of hard graft to build up a farm spanning 650 acres. From the array of bridges throughout the farm to the lakes that have been gradually made by hand and machine the farm has the marks of a landscape shaped with a particular vision.
"I started off in 1980 and just wanted one field with a caravan"
"I wouldn't have gone from 10 to 650 acres without a lot of hard graft"
"You've got to live for it really if you want to be successful, it's not just a hobby"
"There's so much to work with, I slowly learnt to shape the land and drive the machines"
"The bridges have taken nearly all my life to build around the farm; it takes years to do anything"
"The farm is split into 12 different sections"
"Of course the seasons dictate what you can do, as well as the weather"
"All the animals and birds on the farm need to be managed, this is more technical than anyone realises"
"The cows need passports to be sent to the market, they are individually tagged each fortnight"
"The tree lookouts on the farm are used for hunting, there are many deer that need to be culled"
"Planning permission can be tricky as people can't see the vision that you have,
to build one of the lakes I had to join one onto another"
"Some land can be priceless, the land on the river test was only acquired after swapping
with another farmer. It's one of the richest resources for fishing in England"
"The bridges aren't just for me though, the animals like using them"
"Oh Christ, you frightened me Lionel"
"I don't like sheep myself, bought some once, fattened them up and somebody stole them"
"You have dreams and visions but you've got to think about the cash flow, unfortunately
there isn't much in agriculture at the moment, it's alright but not easy"
"We are probably over mechanised on the farm but it's the only way to keep up with the land"
"Time is the main problem, it's invaluable"