Inside the farm in the middle of the M62 highway as the owner shares an insight into life

The lives of farmers Paul Thorp and Jill Falkingham-Thorp at Stott Hall Farm are a little different than most, with their homes surrounded by speeding cars and trucks.

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Stott Hall Farm: A look at the mid-house M62 in 2018

The M62 is one of Britain’s busiest roads, with more than 100,000 motorists using it every day.

For bored passengers, there is a natural talking point that arises between junctions 22 and 23 of the M62 near Huddersfield.

Why on earth is there a farm slap in the middle of a car road?

A widely circulated rumor was that the farmers refused to budge when the road was built in the 60s, so six lanes of traffic grew around them instead.

Like many things in life, the truth is a little more complicated and nuanced, Echoes of Liverpool Note.

Stott Hall Ranch is run by sheep farmer Paul Thorp and his wife, Jill Falkingham-Thorp, who live there with their son, John-William.

Farmer Paul Thorp with his wife Jill and son John



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They look after over 900 ewes and 20 Angus cattle, which can be seen grazing in the moors outside the highway.

It is a reminder of how people used to cross the Pennines on foot or on horseback before the wildlife was transformed.

Appearing on Channel 4’s show ‘The Pennines: Backbone of Britain’, Paul offers an incredible insight into life on the farm.

It may look like a difficult place to work, but for the farmer, it is the pinnacle of success.

He told the documentary: “I came here as a 22-year-old young man who was very interested in farming.

Aerial view of Stott Hall Farm



More than 100,000 people drive through the farm every day


Huddersfield Judge)

“To have the chance to do a farm on this scale only happens once in a lifetime, so it’s my home now. It’s just all.”

He added: “It’s really like any other farm. You have to know your land, know your job and plan around it.

“The only thing is that we have six lanes of traffic going through us. It presents its challenges, it’s very unique.”

Referring to traffic, he added: “The mind is confused as to where people are going. I just can’t get me around where people are going every day.”

The farmer is seen solving an important problem – how to make sure any of their four-legged friends never collide with four-wheeled vehicles.

The site was saved after engineers discovered a geological fault beneath the farm,



If they jump over the fence, Highways England staff must call the couple and the highway will be closed until they recover their livestock.

On the show, Paul needs the help of dry ice riders to help solve this modern problem.

Paul explains: “As my grandfather said, the Yorkshire stone was placed below Yorkshire so it could be used on top of Yorkshire.

“Now there is no other way that will last long, if you put a concrete wall here, it will be eroded in an instant.”

But even these ancient boundaries need a bit of TLC, and he called in a family of wall builders to help with partial repairs.

Paul Thorp shared an insight into his unusual life


Channel number 4)

Bill Noble, the family man who led the repair work, highlights another unique problem affecting Stott Hall Farm, due to its elevation.

He said: “I think there was a story when the highway was being built, the men who were working on it said they had never been to a place before where there was howling and fog.

“It’s good if you can pick your day when you’re working on the highest ground.”

Talk to Sunday Times in 2017, Farmer Jill said: “When [Paul] asked me if I lived here, I said, ‘Oh my god, really?’ It was difficult at first.

“There’s no bathroom upstairs and traffic is very noisy. The windows are triple-glazed so the inside of the house isn’t too bad, but it can be noisy outside.”

They’ve gotten used to the country’s fascination with the ranch by now, which was actually saved when engineers discovered a geological fault beneath the farmhouse that made the construction of surrounding lanes the house is more real than going through it.

Ken Wild, the farmer who refused to move out to buy the M62, protested – but Thorp says that won’t stop it from being destroyed.

He told the Times: “He’s a proper farmer. He’s opposed to building highways. But they’re not going to build around him just because he’s stubborn.”

The The Pennines: The Backbone of England The next one will air on TV on February 21 at 9pm.

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