BRITISH retail giant Marks & Spencer has named York farmer Olly Heywood on its shortlist for this year's M&S Farming for the Future awards.

Mr Heywood, who runs Heywood Farms in York, will find out if he has been crowned winner on the first day of the Great Yorkshire in Harrogate on July 8.

Mr Heywood's 270 acre farm specialises in rearing sheep and provides lamb to M&S through supplier Dawn Meats.

In addition to his day job, Mr Heywood provides work experience for teenagers during the summer months and gives lectures on insights into farming.

The judges were impressed by his commitment to educating and encouraging future generations of farmers.

M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation.

The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term.

Steve Mclean, M&S head of Agriculture & Fisheries, said: “This is our sixth Farming for the Future Awards and the judging process seems to get harder with each year. We are continually impressed with the commitment and passion our suppliers show, and I’m delighted to once again be honouring some of the country’s most inspiring farming champions.

“Olly’s dedication to innovation, best practice and future-proof farming really shone through and I wish him the best of luck when we unveil the Farming for the Future winner at the Great Yorkshire Show.”