Film ID: YFA 5834 Video of YFA_5834 Farm on a Motorway CLEGG'S PEOPLE: THE FARM ON A MOTORWAY 1983 Visitor TabsDescription Michael Clegg provides the natural history of Windy Hill in the Pennines and visits Stott Hall Farm, 1100 feet up, situated between the two sets of carriageways on the M62. He talks to the farmer Ken Wilde and his wife Beth about what it is like to live there, and the sheep farming they do. The film begins with Michael Clegg talking about the effects of motorways on wildlife, and how they attract kestrels. He is near Stott Hall Farm in Calderdale, on a moorland stretch of the M62. Clegg states that, despite stories to the contrary, the motorway was built around the farm because it was built on, “geologically creeping side long ground.” The tenant Ken Wilde explains that he never had the option of standing his ground. He is interviewed in his home on the farm, which covers 15 acres of land belonging to the water authority, explaining that his father started there in 1934. We see the underpass that gives access to the nearby reservoir, with evidence of former industrial workings. Clegg states that because of the west wind we are polluting Norway and Sweden. Ken Wilde and his wife Beth talk of the difficulties of living there, but also of the advantage of having no neighbours. Ken Wilde is with his four border collies, rounding up sheep to put into a pen between the lanes of the motorway. He tells the story of when a 22 ton lorry of books overturned on the motorway into the farm when the driver died at the wheel. He then discusses the different breeds of sheep he has with Clegg – Woodland Whiteface (or Penistone), Lonk (or Lancashire) and Herdwick Ewe – giving an account of their different characteristics. The sheep are shepherded through the underpass. End Credits: Clegg’s People Introduced by Michael Clegg Cameraman Allan Pyrah Sound Don Atkinson, Alan Bedward Film Editor Chris Sutton Director David St. David Smith Producer John Wilford Copyright Yorkshire Television LTD 1983 Context Standing 1100 feet up on Windy Hill in the Pennines is Stott Hall Farm, and around it on either side, just yards away and travelling at high speed, are 100,000 vehicles which pass every day along the UK’s highest motorway, the M62. Braving the ceaseless din of the traffic are Ken and Beth Wild, their three breeds of sheep and four border collies. They talk about their life on Britain’s most visible farm, and why they are there, while presenter Michael Clegg provides the natural history. Since the completion of the M62 in 1976, a story went around that Ken Wild, who had lived on the farm since the age of five, forced the split in the motorway by refusing to move, and cite the obituary of valuations officer Max Hunt as evidence. The fact that he and Beth decided to stay may in part explain why this story remains persuasive for some. The motorway engineer Geoffrey Hunter supports the version given by Ken Wild, that the soft ground forced the divide, and the fact that Wild was a tenant farmer who did not own the land makes it rather conclusive. Ken died in 2004, aged 76, with the farm passing on to Paul Thorp, who had already worked there, and who despite the location, eventually found someone to share it with.