Where Are the Fellows Who Cut the Hay?

How traditions from the past can shape our future

An ode to rural life, charting traditions of the past, how they were lost and why we need to reconnect.

Where Are the Fellows Who Cut the Hay?
How traditions from the past can shape our future

£16.99

In stock

Description

‘Essential reading for anybody who wants to understand rural life, how we got here, and what we’ve lost’
Patrick Galbraith, author of In Search of One Last Song

Where Are the Fellows Who Cut the Hay? is an ode to rural life, charting traditions of the past, how they were lost and why we need to reconnect.

Exploring the relationship between everyday items and the communities that make them, Robert Ashton provides a snapshot of twenty-first century England. Where are the people who grow barley, milk cows and produce wool? How have their farming methods become less ethical, sustainable and natural over time? And what are we doing today to reverse that change?

Inspired by George Ewart Evans’s Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay, Ashton gives voice to local people and travels rural Suffolk in search for innovation, interweaving his own personal connection to Evans and to the land. Part memoir, part social history, Ashton’s thought-provoking book is a manifesto for why, against all odds, we need to step back in order to progress.

‘We hear the authentic voices of local people, still in the middle of great forces of transformation. Now we hope these will create more sustainable and progressive futures.’
Jules Pretty, author of The East Country

‘Informed by a deep familiarity with the county, Ashton reveals how an intimate knowledge of the rural past and present can contribute to shaping a meaningful future.’
Professor Gareth Williams, biographer of George Ewart Evans

About the Author

Robert Ashton lives near the Suffolk coast, in the town where he grew up. He worked on local farms in his teens, studied agriculture at college and spent the first decade of his career selling fertiliser. His interest in George Ewart Evans dates back to his early teens, when his parents bought him a copy of Ask the Fellows who Cut the Hay. Already an established business author, Robert graduated from the UEA with a Creative Writing MA in 2020. A Quaker, Robert is driven by a strong sense of social justice and has helped establish a number of social enterprises.

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