FCN – always there to walk with you


Rebecca Hill explains how the FCN blends farming expertise and professional support networks to bolster the farming community’s resilience

Rebecca Hill, the joint
co-ordinator for Dorset FCN

That’s me over on the right – I’m Rebecca Hill, the joint co-ordinator for Dorset FCN (Farming Comunity Network), along with Barrie Cooper (Barrie will introduce himself next month!). I farm at Winterborne Kingston – combinable crops, some on land that we own, some that we rent and we also share farm with the Drax Estate. Alongside the farming operation we have converted a range of redundant farm buildings for commercial use, and have some lovely businesses working from the farm. My family also run Wire and Wood Ltd, selling agricultural fencing supplies.
During COVID I did some volunteering with FCN – I certainly didn’t foresee that I would become the co-ordinator! But it is a role that I find incredibly rewarding.
The FCN is a farmer’s charity – and as a group of volunteers we all have an understanding of agriculture. We have been busy raising the profile of what we do in Dorset, running farm walks during the summer and quizzes during the winter months.
Alongside the events, we offer support on a one-to-one basis. If anyone is struggling within our farming community we will send a volunteer to visit them and help. Our job is to signpost people to make sure they get all the support they require.

The cases we see are very varied – from issues with the RPA or other government bodies to families worried about succession or dispute, or simply being overwhelmed by the work, weather and the mental health stress. Our volunteers are there to walk with you for as long as we are needed.
We also work with our allied professionals – the vets, trading standards, land agents, the NFU group secretaries etc – because they are the people who, day to day, are out on farm and seeing people who may need our help.
If you feel you are able to give some time and become a volunteer, or perhaps able to raise money for FCN, or if you need to talk to one of us – in complete confidence – please do get in touch with me on


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