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  1. ITV Report

Figures show drop in percentage of female farmers

There's been a drop in the percentage of farmers in the UK who are women over the last ten years, according to new figures released this week.

The figures from the National Office for Statistics shows that there has only been a very slight increase in the number of women in the industry since 2007 - there are only 2000 more female farmers now than ten years ago.

Video report from Melissa Wright

The proportion of women within the total number of farmers has also dropped - from 14% to 18%.

The percentage of women in farming has dropped Credit: ONS

But Julia Evans, who runs Longlands Care Farm in Herefordshire, says she thinks attitudes towards women in farming are changing.

She told ITV News Central that women traditionally have characteristics which can be extremely valuable for being a livestock farmer.

As women continue to take up places on agricultural courses, it's hoped that more women will take up roles within the industry.

Younger farmers establishing themselves are now using much more modern ways to start their careers.

Sophie, who began with a flock of six sheep on her land in Derbyshire, decided to move to New Zealand to further her career. She used social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to make contacts and find her first job.

Sophie Barnes Credit: ITV News Central

"Planning for New Zealand was just sending a Tweet out saying: "Hey, I'm thinking of coming to New Zealand, are there any farmers out there who can give me some contacts?'"

"And I got my job!"

– Sophie Barnes