We’re survivors: Hitchin farmer looks to the sun to help power next generation

Hugh Neave junior with his pigs.

Hugh Neave junior with his pigs. - Credit: Archant

A farmer is keen to help conserve the future of his farm for the next generation by planning a solar farm on his land.

Hugh Neave is set to embrace renewable energy with his plan which could help power more than 1,250 homes and reduce the nation’s carbon footprint by 2,150 tons.

The 61-year-old said: “Margins have got a bit tight and farmers need to diversify, and we like the way the renewable energy company involved in this – Green Energy UK Direct – is thinking about ways to improve the solar park site.

“Farming is hard work. Milk now costs less than water in some cases in supermarkets, so it’s hard to make a living which is why we got rid of our dairy herd. We’ve dealt with crisis after crisis in cattle farming with foot and mouth and BSE making life very hard, but we’re survivors.”

Hugh took over Rush Green Farm – situated off London Road near Langley – from his father, also named Hugh, who died in 1983.

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Now his youngest son – another Hugh, aged 15 – is keen to follow in the family’s farming footsteps.

Hugh junior supports his father’s project, and if the application is successful they plan to put solar panels on St Ippolyts Primary School, where both he and his big brother George, 17, were pupils.

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The youngster said of the solar park site: “It’s not overlooked by any nearby houses and could put so much energy back into the community.

“This scheme will be of use to future generations. I can only see good things coming from it. I’m delighted our land can have such a worthwhile use.”

Young Hugh, who currently rears 22 rare breed pigs and currently has seven piglets in his sty, added: “I really like the solar scheme and I like the pigs. “I’ve been breeding them for four years. It’s great also to be doing something to help save the planet.”

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