Dorothy Fairburn - My Yorkshire Weekend
PUBLISHED: 16:22 26 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:54 20 February 2013
Dorothy Fairburn, regional director of the CLA in Yorkshire, explains why a great weekend starts with the great outdoors
The print version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Yorkshire Life
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Living on the edge of the beautiful North York Moors National Park, friends from other parts of the country often come to stay with me at weekends, providing the perfect excuse to show off some of the best bits of Yorkshire.
You cant beat a drive through the stunning scenery of the moors for fish and chips at Whitby or an invigorating walk around Swaledale and Wharfedale to illustrate just why this really is Gods own county.
Walking is a real passion of mine and I enjoy nothing more than a full days hike of up to 15 miles stopping for a picnic or maybe a quick pub lunch if Im feeling just a little more indulgent.
If Im not walking, entertaining or helping fundraise as vice chairman of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust which will soon see me doing a sponsored parachute jump then youll probably find me in my vegetable garden. Ive taken to this newfound hobby with such relish that Ive even commandeered my next door neighbours vegetable patch!
Being a true Yorkshire woman and farmers daughter, thrift is an integral part of my make-up and it never ceases to delight me how much money I can save by growing my own and gathering free food like mushrooms, blackberries, wild garlic and sloe berries to produce my own sloe gin.
I love good food and good company and will often cook for friends on a Saturday evening. Stimulating conversation and generous helpings of Yorkshire produce are perfect bedfellows, and when it comes to local food there is such an amazing choice, from superb meat and cheeses through to ice cream and rhubarb and of course not forgetting the modest fruits of my own garden.
Im very lucky that my work with the CLA crosses over a great deal with my private life.
The taste of freshly harvested produce is second to none and experiencing it firsthand gives me renewed vigour when promoting our Just Ask campaign, aimed at encouraging the use of locally sourced food.
My weekends frequently include a visit to my two brothers farms in the national park. In addition to catching up with all the family news, these visits remind me of the tireless work that farmers put in to produce food and maintain our iconic landscapes and diverse wildlife. Im delighted that, thanks to the efforts of the CLA and other farming organisations, there is now such an increased public awareness of the role they play.
Before I know it, Sunday evening has rolled around again and its time to tackle the less glamorous side of my weekend ironing shirts for the week ahead. After that I settle down to gather my thoughts with a glass of wine in front of a log fire.
In todays hectic business world of tight deadlines and instant communication (except in remote rural locations where broadband speeds are dire another CLA campaign!), thinking time is an increasingly rare commodity. This is a real shame as its often during these moments of quiet reflection that a new idea or a solution to a problem will come to me.
Dorothy Fairburn is regional director for the Country Land & Business Association in Yorkshire, which represents the interests of more than 3,500 farmers, landowners and rural business owners. She was recently awarded an MBE for her services to rural affairs.