This Farming Life: Locations and families starring in series five

With This Farming Life returning to TV screens next Tuesday night (23 November), here’s a look at the families and locations featuring in the new series.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 12:17 pm

There are lots of new faces joining the cast to share their day-to-day lives farming in some of Scotland’s most stunning and remote landscapes.

Emma and Ewan: Ardross Farm, Isle of Bute

Emma Gray and her husband Ewan Irvine are returning for series five.

Image credit: BBC

Viewers will see them begin their year as they prepare to move from their small 100-acre farm in Northumberland to their new forever farm on the Isle of Bute.

The new farm is seven times the size of Fallowlees.

Having committed to a 20-year tenancy, the move to the bigger farm presents the couple with a number of challenges; from increasing livestock numbers, taking on a large debt and getting used to island living.

In addition, Ewan has left his firefighting job to become a farmer full time!

The young couple are ‘all in’ for their make or break first year.

The Frasers and the Girvans: Loch Ness

Donald Fraser and David Girvan are cousins who run traditional hill farms on the banks of Loch Ness.

Both their partners, Joanna, and Barbara, are full of fresh ideas, keen to bring a fresh approach to the business of farming and bring in extra revenue.

The Frasers: Farm Ness, Loch Ness

Donald Fraser was born into farming.

The 36-year-old works alongside his dad, Donald Snr, on their traditional hill farm just five miles from Inverness.

Donald’s partner Joanna is a geography teacher, full of new ideas for the farm.

Capitalising on the farm’s location close to the main tourist route to Inverness, she wants to open a farm shop, selling their own produce.

Joanna is keen to get more hands on, too!

From her very first shift in the lambing shed, to her plans for a small petting zoo next to the farm shop, her efforts come with varying degrees of success.

The Girvans: Corrimony Farm, Loch Ness

Like his younger cousin Donald, David Girvan was born into farming.

His passions are his Stabiliser cows – a hardy American breed built to withstand harsh winters - and his 900 ewes.

David’s wife Barbara, like Joanna, is full of ideas for the family farm.

Barbara’s big idea is pumpkins - over 3,000 of them - which she plans to grow from seedlings and sell as part of the biggest ‘pick a pumpkin’ event Loch Ness has ever seen!

And, this year, she plans to launch a pick your own wildflower business from the farm.

The Cursiter family: Laga Farm, Mainland, Orkney

Sean Cursiter, 32, is a young farmer in a similar predicament to many other young farmers in the UK.

His dad, Michael, and his uncle, Martin, co-own the family farm, Laga, on the west of Mainland in Orkney.

As neither plan to retire any time soon, Sean is currently patiently waiting his turn.

Across the year, Sean strives to forge his own path, working with his starter flock of New Zealand Romneys, embarking on a shearing road trip to earn extra cash, and taking on contracting work with fellow young farmers on Orkney.

The Love family: Bridge of Aird Farm, Stranraer

Andy and Christine Love built up their dairy farm, on the outskirts of the old ferry port in Stranraer, from a seven-cow byre to a modern milking parlour.

They have 180 pedigree Holstein Fresian dairy cows supplying a local creamery.

Now, Andy is preparing to hand over the reins of the business to his daughter, Kayleigh, who has big plans for the farm.

Along with her husband, Rab, she plans to move production in-house and sell their milk directly to locals, cutting out the middleman and increasing their profits.

Throughout the series, viewers will follow the new business from the germs of an idea through to its launch, as well as a more personal storyline, closer to home.

The Black family: Collessie Farm, Fife

Ronnie Black, who is 73, runs a mixed farm in the East Neuk of Fife along with his sons Pete and Mike.

Most of their land is arable, supplying their animal feed business - but their passion is pedigree breeding.

For Ronnie and Pete, it’s their Clydesdale horses, and for Mike, it’s his flock of Suffolk pedigree sheep.

Ronnie took over from his father before him and has dedicated his life to preserving the legacy of his Clydesdale horses.

Throughout the year, viewers will see the dedication and time involved for Ronnie and his son Pete.

For Mike, Brexit causes complications for the Suffolk sheep market.

This Farming Life returns to the BBC at 8pm on Tuesday 23 November.