- Finsbury Growth & Income Trust Plc - Portfolio Managers Update
- London's iconic BT Tower sold to become hotel
- 'Grow your brand, not a marketplace' -- Online scheduling software Setmore launches a new initiative that champions brands and spotlights what sets th...
- Sinch appoints Executive Vice President APAC
- PhonePe Unveils Indus Appstore: A Game-Changer in India's Digital Journey
- Valvoline™ Global Operations launches 5th annual Mechanics Month campaign
- Stock markets diverge before Nvidia results, Fed minutes
- New digital maturity framework launched by BSI to help ensure public services are inclusive, accessible and efficient
- Porn for 'spiritual growth': nuns detail abuse by renowed priest
- Von der Leyen wants new defence tsar in second EU term
- Abu Dhabi and Shenzhen sign innovative Twin City Agreement in boost to UAE-China bilateral ties
- Thomas says fast start key for Wales against Six Nations leaders Ireland
- LUCARA UNVEILS DIAMOND RECOVERIES FROM ITS KAROWE MINE
- Generative AI Contracting Copilots Drive Icertis Above $250 Million in Annual Recurring Revenue
- Caseware Welcomes Danielle Supkis Cheek as Vice President, Head of Analytics and AI
- Analytic Partners Achieves ISO 27001 Certification for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS)
- Zdeněk Sobotka's SOLEK successful in the second Greece Storage auction
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia unveils Zarqa Al Yamama - the inaugural Arabic Grand Opera
- England's Earl ready for Scotland 'curve balls' in Six Nations
- UK sanctions six officials at Russian prison where Navalny died
- UK Insurer BHSF Selects Sapiens SaaS Platform for Digital Transformation and Enhanced Customer Experiences
- Two dead, two hurt, in Dutch bridge collapse: officials
- Britain's Westminster Abbey says to return religious tablet to Ethiopia
- MWC 2024 | What Is the Way out for Telco Video Services As IPTV Is Becoming a Past?
- Nasuni Launches Nasuni IQ to Unlock Data Silos for AI Services
- Aon and NFP issue joint statement about the expiration of Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act waiting period for proposed acquisition agreement
- NEOM announces Elanan, a unique wellness retreat embedded in nature
- Neville Ray, Former T-Mobile President of Technology, Joins Paradise Mobile as Advisor
- Germany cuts 2024 growth forecast as economic woes pile up
- Food watchdog lodges complaint over Nestle mineral water 'fraud'
- Jazz Pharmaceuticals Appoints Philip Johnson as Chief Financial Officer
- US urges UN court not to order Israel out of Palestinian lands
- Unisys Corporation - Unisys Announces 4Q and Full-Year 2023 Results
- Trip.com and Mastercard Launch Exclusive Flight Discount Offer in the UK
- HFCL to Expand Presence in Europe with setting up of Optical Fiber Cable Plant in Poland to capitalize growing demand of OFC in Europe
- QC Ware Announces 2nd Q2B Paris Conference, Focusing on the Roadmap to Quantum Value in Europe
- Lawyers for US urge UK court to reject Assange appeal bid
- Hunger grips war-torn Gaza as truce talks resume in Cairo
- Stellar Asset Management Ltd - Form 8.3 - Property Frnachise Group (The) Plc
- Amid torrid spell, Bayern say Tuchel to leave at end of season
- Automechanika and Frost & Sullivan Forge New Partnership for Global Impact
- ORVANA'S SUBSIDIARY PROVIDES NOTICE OF ITS PROPOSED BONDS OFFERING IN BOLIVIA
- Afghan Taliban official says taking pictures 'a major sin'
- David, Marsh propel Australia to thrilling T20 win over New Zealand
- Amid torrid spell, Bayern says Tuchel to leave at end of season
- France seeks to placate farmers as protests flare up again
- England back underfire Root, Bairstow to keep India series alive
- Arcade1Up X Oreo is the most delicious pairing yet
- 'Definitely a chance' Stokes will bowl in fourth India Test: Pope
- World Champion and Olympic Medalist Marion Clignet, Technological Co-Founder of Jelenew Launches "Sprinters Jersey Lab"
Feeling stressed? Cuddle a cow, says UK dairy farm
Morag, an imposing Highland cow with a caramel coat, ambles out of the main shed at Dumble Farm in northern England and stands ready to meet her guests.
Visitors have travelled from far and wide to the farm near Beverley in east Yorkshire, not to buy milk, yoghurt or cheese, but to enjoy a cuddle with Morag and her companions.
Fiona Wilson and her co-farmers at Dumble Farm started offering the cuddling sessions in February when it became obvious that economic difficulties of modern dairy farming had become untenable.
"Some people like to engage with dogs or cats or horses and other people find that cows are the animals they want to be with," Wilson told AFP.
"People are coming for a wellbeing point of view. That anxiety relieving-ness of being with animals is almost like a therapy."
- Horn of a dilemma -
Dumble Farm's owners looked to diversify because a sharp fall in the price of milk and high inflation was crippling their dairy farming business.
Economic hardship has forced farmers to leave the industry in their droves for decades.
According to a House of Commons Library research brief, the UK had 196,000 dairy farms in 1950. By 1995 there were just 35,700.
Lower milk prices and rising energy, fuel, feed and fertiliser costs since the outbreak of war in Ukraine 20 months ago has been a nail in the coffin for many more.
In its latest survey of major milk buyers, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, which represents farmers, estimated that there were 7,500 dairy producers in Britain in October 2023.
For Dumble Farm, flooding in six out of the past seven years was an added challenge, leaving the farm under water often for months at a time.
Wilson said she and her partners at the farm, who include her husband and brother, were working 14 hours every day of the year and losing money.
"It's impossible to live like that," she said. "There was just no future. We were just getting nowhere."
In January 2022, the farmers decided to diversify and sold off their dairy herd other than five cows that they could not bring themselves to leave.
"They were our friends really, with placid friendly natures," Wilson said.
"We thought maybe that we could try having a go at cow cuddling, just to earn a bit of extra money on top of our conservation scheme and also to engage people with what we were doing here."
The farm prepared the cows for months before inviting customers to come and cuddle them -- and the cows appeared happy to oblige.
"They are inquisitive animals. They are interested when people come down to see them," said Wilson.
- Udder bliss -
The experience, which also includes educational activities on conservation and sustainable farming, draws couples, families and cow lovers from across the country.
The £50 ($63) per person tickets sell out months in advance.
Inside the barn, dozing cows delight in having their chins scratched and their soft coats brushed by the paying visitors.
Steven Clews said he bought the experience for his wife who loves Highland cattle.
"I'm fond of all animals, especially cuddly ones, so being able to cuddle a big one is really cool," he said.
"They are so easy to brush," his wife, Emma Clews, said.
"I didn't think I would find it relaxing, but they are just so cuddly. It's very therapeutic."
When the sessions end, the visitors are herded outside the cowshed and into the sun where Morag awaits.
Morag raises her head to the sky as visitors brush and caress her soft furry chest, drawing smiles and hums of delight from her human companions.