Return of livestock markets boost for farming mental health

Every Monday around forty vendors and thirty buyers head to Louth cattle market to trade sheep and cattle. 

During the pandemic the market operated a Drop & Go policy, meaning farmers had to leave their animals behind and watch the sale play out online. 

Since last month, it's been more like business as usual; with the policy gone and the cafe reopened.

It's a welcome boost for farmers who spend weeks isolated and alone.

The cattle market can be a social event as much as a business one. Indeed it even attracts retired farmers, shepherds and locals who come for the chance to socialise. 

When many of those being told to stay indoors are already from an isolated profession it can make a huge difference.

The Lincolnshire Rural Support Network says it's seen an increase in the number of farming families seeking support, from 193 to March this year as opposed to 160 for the same period last year.

But, with the cattle market fully re-opened whatever weathers the farmers have to face next, they won't have to do it alone.