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Saturday 2nd September 2017

Steve Parkes is new Chairman at Moreton Show

A Cotswolds farmer who has worked for Princess Anne and whose sheep received the Royal seal of approval from Prince Charles, is the new chairman of Moreton Show.

Steve Parkes, 67, from Stow-on-the-Wold, has worked in farming and agriculture for more than half a century and is one of the country’s leading breeders of the rare ‘Cotswold Lion’ - the Cotswold sheep famed for its ‘golden fleece’.

Steve was born in Charlton Kings, in Cheltenham, where his family lived for six generations.  He studied agriculture at Hartpury College, near Gloucester, and then worked as a cowman on dairy farms in Gloucestershire.

He later worked on a beef farm in Uxbridge, where the M25 ran straight through the land, before returning to work in the Cotswolds at a farm in Naunton, where he first worked with Cotswold sheep and reared English Longhorn cattle.

Steve then received the Royal call up and was farm manager on Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Estate, looking after White Park cattle and Wiltshire Horn Sheep. 

His vast knowledge of farming and heritage breeds was put to good use when Steve worked at Mary Arden’s Farm at the Shakespeare Birth Place Trust in Wilmcote, near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Steve is a key member of the Cotswold Sheep Society and has 30 breeding ewes - some of whom are celebrity sheep.   Steve’s sheep met Prince Charles on his visit to Northleach in 2016, they’ve appeared on BBC One’s Countryfile with Adam Henson and on C4’s Hidden Villages with Penelope Keith.   Steve was also recently featured on BBC R4’s Farming Today.

Last year, one of Steve’s sheep won Champion of Any Native Breed at the Royal Berkshire Show.

Steve, who’s been visiting Moreton Show for more than 35 years, said: ‘It’s a great honour to be chairman of Moreton Show.  I feel really proud to be part of such an historic countryside show that’s at the heart of Cotswolds agriculture.

‘Farming has been my life and through working with Moreton Show I’m able to help promote farming and farmers.  British agriculture is a great industry and at Moreton Show we work hard to connect our visitors with the wonderful food that’s produced in this country.’

Steve lives in Stow-on-the-Wold with his wife Lynne, who is treasurer and livestock secretary for Moreton Show.  They have two children and four grandchildren.

Steve’s vice-chairman for the next two years will be arable farmer, Ed Hicks from Barton-on-the-Heath.

This year’s Moreton Show, Britain’s biggest one-day agricultural show, is on Saturday, September 2nd and there are more details at www.moretonshow.co.uk

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Moreton-in-Marsh Agricultural and Horse Show Society is a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in England No. 2397134; Registered Charity No. 900122. Registered Office: Moreton Show Office, 5 Wychwood Court, London Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos, GL56 0JQ