Where would rural communities be without farmers, especially during times such as the recent cold snap?
Snow has not hit all parts of the UK in the past week, but it has brought disruption to many areas which have been blanketed with several feet of the white stuff, with subsequent icy blasts compounding the problems.
With many roads made impassable by snow and ice, it has been the farming community which has come to the rescue clearing snowdrifts, gritting country lanes and towing cars up farm tracks towards the main road.
Tractors have also been playing an invaluable role towing milk tankers towards yards and allowing bulk tanks to be emptied, rather than the proceeds of a morning’s milking heading down the drain instead.
It is ironic in a way that many motorists and non-farming members of rural communities have been helped out by the very same tractors and machines they probably rue during times such as silaging and harvest.
Instead of shaking a fist of anger now though as they get slowed down on country roads, they are extending handshakes of thanks for those helping them navigate treacherous or impassable routes.
It would be interesting to know how many of the general public truly appreciate what the farming community does for them, and not just at times such as this when their contribution is visible across a snow-bound countryside.
After all, there will be no food shortages in the shops for them, even if their daily pint has had a monumental journey even before it reaches their kitchen table.
Working in weather like the past week is never easy but, as one farmer told me as he fed sheep in a snow-clad field, ’we have to keep the wheels turning’ because the farming will not do itself.
Farming’s community spirit and togetherness has come to the fore once again and showed that farming is not just the backbone of Britain’s rural areas, but the heartbeat of the nation as a whole.
And finally, beavers are back in the Forest of Dean, after already finding their way back to Scotland.
Let us hope the next move of glass-eyed environmentalists is not to secure the lynx’s reintroduction.