WOMEN across rural North Yorkshire whose lives have been hit by a summer of cancelled events are coming together for a special virtual event.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Women In Farming Network is hosting its Autumn Gathering online to provide support and inspiration following months of cancelled agricultural shows and other social occasions.

The event which starts at 10.30am tomorrow, Tuesday, October 13, has five speakers with vast experience of working with rural communities and businesses.

Addressing the theme of ‘A Momentous Year’ will be NFU West Riding Chair Rachel Hallos, The Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Olivia Spilman, of Spilman Farming, consultant psychologist Dr Caroline Knott and Susan Briggs, director of The Tourism Network.

The gathering will be chaired by Judith Wood, Barclays’ agricultural manager, and will offer the rural community a sense of its collective strength and messages of positivity amid a trying times for many businesses.

Kate Dale, who co-ordinates the Women In Farming Network, said: “We continue to live through extraordinary times, unlike anything ever seen by current generations. Everyone has been affected by the coronavirus situation.

“Many of our usual activities and events at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society have been disrupted, including our annual Women In Farming Conference, which is always planned for October each year. However, not to be defeated, we are taking this event online and tailoring it to current circumstances.

“Our hope is that much of the discussion will resonate with our audience and offer reassurance and a sense of solidarity to everyone, both as individuals and collectively as hard working women with families, who in many cases live and work in rural outposts.”

Elizabeth Nelson, director in Savills Rural division, said: “All of us working in the rural sector are having to take stock and re-appraise our businesses, coping with the colliding circumstances and evolving uncertainty of the impact of Covid-19, Brexit, climate change and prospect of recession.

“At Savills we are helping farms and rural enterprises across the spectrum. The list of challenges and considerations can seem endless but remembering that ‘out of adversity comes opportunity’ brings hope. The more we can share ideas and expertise to collaborate and support each other, the stronger we will be in our decision making.”

Savills and The Prince’s Countryside Fund are event sponsors, with support from Barclays Agriculture. Register at www.yas.co.uk/women-in-farming-autumn-gathering