FARMERS in Cumbria said hit-show Clarkson’s Farm has been 'absolutely fantastic' for the industry.

The popular first season starring former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was hailed for highlighting issues previously unknown to the public that farmers have to deal with every day.

Runaway sheep, tight profit margins, even tighter harvesting deadlines, and inclement weather, all proved to be challenges that led to Diddly Squat Farm making an annual profit of £144.

The second series, which began on Amazon Prime on February 10, has again made farming a hot topic.

Trevor Wilson, a sheep farmer near Grange, was effusive in his praise of the impact the show has had.

He said: "Jeremy Clarkson has done more for farming than any government of the last 50 years.

"It gets the industry across to the public from a human angle."

Trevor referred to a recent episode in which Clarkson was attempting to diversify into farming cattle but was told that if the cattle (cows) were infected with tuberculosis (TB) spread by the local badger population, they would all have to be killed.

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He said: "For instance, we're having to kill cows from one end of the country to the other, and breaking people’s hearts everywhere.

"People that have had three or four generations of breeding cattle, and they’re decimated by TB.

"Recently, close to here, there’s been a hotspot around Junction 36 on the M6.

"Clarkson couldn't believe it when he was told he couldn't cull them.

"Farmers definitely don't hate badgers, or any form of wildlife, as some of the public might think.

"What we hate is when wildlife is out of balance.

"It's more crucial than anyone might realise that Clarkson’s Farm has raised awareness of the issues that farmers have to deal with, as farming and nature needs to be protected."

David Lawrence, who owns Holme Farm in Grange, agreed.

He said: "I think Jeremy Clarkson is a hero.

"He has given the general public more insight into agriculture in the last few years than the industry has ever done."