Meet the Farmers

The Marathon Running Farmer – meet Charles Anyan

Today we’re heading to Lincolnshire to meet arable farmer and runner Charles Anyan, who farms 346 hectares of land at Springthorpe near Gainsborough in the north west of the county. Cropping includes a fairly standard rotation of wheat, barley, oil seed rape and spring beans. Charles also runs a small DIY livery yard and is involved in a couple of mid-tier stewardship schemes. He’s been back on the family farm since 2006 following various jobs in Australia and a degree at Newcastle University. Running has become a massive part of Charles’s life since the lockdowns and he has now run 2 marathons, with another two planned for this year. He also enjoys playing rugby, cycling, travel and hill walking in the Lakes or the Peaks. He has become a prominent advocate for talking about mental health and is an ambassador for the Farming Community Network. 


About Ben

Ben Eagle is a freelance rural affairs and agricultural journalist and podcaster. He also produces podcasts for a number of other rural organisations. You can find out more at 

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A-Plan Rural Insurance

This episode is sponsored by our primary sponsor A Plan Rural


Show References

John Charles Jones (Woodborough Park on twitter)

Image credit: Charles Anyan



00:27 Ben introduces the show.

1:39 Charles comes in.

2:02 Charles talks about Lincolnshire

3:10 Charles’s family have been farming in the area since 1820. 

4:05 The land is suited for cereal production.

4:21 A range of soils in Lincolnshire. 

5:39 World wheat yield record near Louth.

6:00 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural Insurance.

6:44 Charles went to Newcastle University.

9:11 Newcastle is a stunning city.

9:26 Charles has spent a lot of time in Australia – why has it featured so much in his life?

13:29 Charles believes that Sydney is the best city in the world. 

14:14 Farming policy and Charles’s frustration with current food and farming policy. 

15:15 The ban of various agri-chemicals.

16:20 Other break crops.

17:58 Food security discussion. 

20:08 Charles is looking at ELMs and other options for environmental management. 

20:48 How does the economic future for Charles’s farm look like post 2027/28 and the end of BPS.

23:57 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural Insurance.

24:22 Charles’s experience with running and story of weight loss. 

33:08 Mental health and Charles is an ambassador for Farming Community Network. 

33:35 Run 1000

37:45 Charles plans to run his first marathon.

39:20 Have we broken the stigma of talking about mental health in farming?

44:40 Charles’s message for the public.

45:38 Charles’s message to farmers.

46:06 Charles’s recommendation for a blog, podcast or social media account – FCN, LRSN, YANA, Yellow Wellies, RABI. Also John Charles-Jones (Woodborough Park). 

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