I hope that you can help me. I am PhD student in social anthropology with a research project focused on hill farming in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. The anthropological method is immerse oneself in the social life of those we study, typically for one year, in order to grasp how life is truly lived in that place.
To carry out my research, I need to work with hill farmers on their farms for a year. Any hill farm, no matter the size or scale, is of interest. To avoid overstaying my welcome on any one farm, I hope to work with a number of people and arrange a schedule in which I rotate between farms. There are no requirements of the farmers, other than to allow me to accompany them during the ordinary working day. Nor would there be any expense to those willing to get involved, bar their time to integrate me into their work, as I would work with them on their farms without expectation of any payment. On that score, I am hard working, quick to pick things up and have experience of working on farms and with livestock both in the UK and abroad. I would hope that I would be a genuine help to anyone I work with.
I will be living in Sedbergh (Pinfold) in a caravan, so I will not need lodgings. I also have my own car, so that I can work on farms both in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales and in different areas in the two regions. I will be moving up to Sedbergh at the end of June and, ideally, would begin helping out on the farms of anyone interested in working with me straight away.
I am very happy to travel up to meet anyone interested in working with me (so that they can vet me before they commit to anything!) I am hoping to come up next week, if that would suit.
The motivation behind this project is born from my deep affection for the region and my long-held respect for the people who farm it. I spent a great deal of time in the Dales as a boy and it was from my childhood memories of watching farmers shepherd their flocks and helping them about their farms that made me propose this research topic as the focus for my PhD. Once my year of fieldwork is complete, my intention is to write a PhD thesis that will stand as an expression of my affection and respect and will present the region, its pastoral tradition and, most importantly, the farmers who maintain it, in a light that, I would hope, is worthy of them.
Finally, anyone involved in my project will be anonymised in my writing, to guard people’s privacy. Likewise, they will be able to see everything I write and I will change or removing anything that they are not happy with from the final PhD thesis.
If he wants to use it as a case study for his PhD. The farmer will be able to see everything he writes.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from and meet some of you soon.
If you can help please contact me on 07540 232132