Cheshire Dairy Queens take on 3,400 cows in 28-hour 'milking marathon' in farms around Nantwich

A trio of young dairy farmers from Cheshire have set themselves the task of milking 3,400 cows in 28 hours.

Emma Windsor, Fiona Wilshaw and Kate Young are working together to raise money for a farming charity and highlight the challenges facing the industry.

Known collectively as the Cheshire Dairy Queens, the trio are having to travel between six farms around Nantwich to reach their target.

The trio began their quest at 3am and will continue milking for 28 hours

Kate, an NHS radiographer who helps out on her family's farm in Beeston, explained: "This challenge is not going to just test us mentally, it's going to test us physically as well. This is very much a replica of the hard work that goes into farming day in, day out.

"A lot of the pressures of farming are unpredictable. The hours are long and unsociable. It can get quite lonely. That's why this challenge means so much to us."

The trio began their quest at 3 o'clock on Saturday morning at Bidlea Dairy before moving on to Top Farm near Cholmondeston.

While the young farmers won't be using traditional methods, they still need to individually attach the milking machines to each udder, herd all of the animals and clean up after them.

Claudia Bayley, Chairlady of Cheshire Young Farmers, said: "It's obviously not a dairy maid sat on a milking stool any more but there is still a lot of work that goes into it, not just ensuring a high quality product but also making sure the animal welfare of those cows is in tip-top position.

"There's an awful lot mentally and physically that goes into milking cows and all types of agriculture."

The Dairy Queens team will continue working through until Sunday morning

The Dairy Queens are collecting money for The Farm Safety Foundation, also known as the Yellow Wellies, which prevents accidents and promotes good mental health in agriculture.

Some of the money will go towards sessions with young farmers at agricultural education centres across the country.

They also want to raise awareness of the challenges facing the industry.

Fiona, from Altrincham, said: "I would just like to highlight how hard British farmers work.

"We just want that little more appreciation for the effort that goes into our food."

She explained increased production costs mean that profits from rising food prices are not being passed on to farmers and fears that shoppers are becoming complacent.

"We have become quite removed from where our food comes from. It's become more accessible in supermarkets so paying more attention to food labelling is quite important."

An image from the Cheshire Dairy Queens' calendar

This isn't their first fundraising event.

They have already posed for a calendar in aid of the charity in which they nearly bared all.

Emma, from Nantwich, said: "The Cheshire Young Farmers all came together. It was all a lot of fun, everyone joined in and it was great to take part. We've raised about £4,000 from doing that calendar, which is amazing for us really."

The trio hope to reach £10,000 by the end of their fundraising year.