Meet our writers

South East Farmer has a wide range of resident writers who are expert in their fields and write monthly columns within the magazine.

Meet our writers

Richard Wood

Richard Wood

Putting down the gavel

​Richard joined auctioneers Hobbs Parker in 1978 and has been immersed in the selection and marketing of all classes of livestock since that time. He specialises in the valuation and sale of contractors’ plant, farm machinery and equipment. Richard comes from a large farming family and is dedicated to all things agricultural. He runs his own small farm, mainly fattening hoggets from January to April. When he is allowed to by management – his wife, Jackie – Richard pens a highly controversial, often dyspeptic but very popular article for the magazine. He could be mistaken for a UKIP supporter, but Richard recently revealed that he was no such thing!

Monica Akehurst

Monica Akehurst

At the kitchen table

​Monica Akehurst wrote an article instead of Richard Wood, who was on holiday. Our readers enjoyed her contribution so much that we have decided to give her a permanent slot.

Sarah Calcutt

Sarah Calcutt

Fruit topics

Sarah is well placed to comment on the fruit sector in our region, a one time fifth generation grower she has worked throughout the sector, including education, promoting and enthusing people about the industry.

Currently the chair of the Marden Fruit Show Society which runs the National Fruit Show, she is also the general manager of the Avalon Growers Producer Organistion, these two positions, coupled with her own business Partners in Produce means that she is working with the majority of the region’s top, stone and soft fruit growers.

Stephen Carr

Stephen Carr

Arable notes

​Stephen is a fine debater – especially when it comes to the finer points of European Union subsidies! He was mooted as a possible replacement for former NFU president Peter Kendall, but that job went to Meurig Raymond. Stephen’s view that livestock farmers don’t do as well out of subsidies as their arable cousins probably didn’t endear him to the arable bigwigs who have so much influence over the NFU.

Stephen has leant nine of his sheep to the producers of a new play based on Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” and is crazy about sixties rock and pop. He is a late convert to The Kinks, England’s greatest band.

Alan West

Alan West

Sheep Topics

​Alan is the longest serving of our current contributors and has written his monthly column on sheep topics for many years. Alan is no ordinary sheep farmer – if there is any such thing. He is passionate about sheep, especially the Romney breed. He has years of experience, and is willing to pass it on to anyone who will listen. Those who have been on a farm tour with Alan will know what a treat it is. But Alan is special for another reason: his enthusiasm and generosity goes way beyond the farm gate to embrace the public, his customers – and especially younger people trying to make a start in farming.

Kevin Attwood

Kevin Attwood

More than a grain of truth

​Kevin chairs the Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS) and is busy every year helping to stage the Kent Show. The Duke of Kent, KCAS’s patron, went on the first day of this year’s show and officially opened the newly built Maidstone exhibition hall before joining Kevin for a tour of the event. Farming minister George Eustice also turned up and talked about protected food names. Kevin went to Wye College in Kent, graduated in 1981 and went back to the family farm to grow the business. He was chairman of the NFU South East region board from 2010 until 2014 and still farms in a family partnership with his parents and brother. He is responsible for 4,600 acres of arable land growing mainly wheat and oilseed rape.

Nick Adames

Nick Adames

West Sussex Diary

​Nick is a dairy farmer, and like others in the same business is always keeping an eye on the milk price. He has had trouble with bovine TB and his land was badly flooded during the storms at the beginning of the year. Nick’s articles have often sparked fiery ripostes in the magazine’s letters pages – particularly when it comes to the impact of raptors on song birds.

Away from the farm gate, Nick enjoys skiing and bowls – and he has invested in a useful stretch of forestry in Scotland. He is a keen countryman rather than a soft hearted conservationist.

Elved Philips

Elved Philips

Arable notes