An award-winning Member of the Guild, Peter Hall, has retired after a long career in journalism, including more than a decade as farming editor on the Western Morning News in south-west England.
During his time at the WMN, Peter won a Guild Yara award for an article about badgers and Bovine TB, and the regional agricultural journalist title in 2011.
WMN editor Bill Martin paid tribute to Peter’s qualities: “His is a thoroughly professional and hugely knowledgeable farming editor. It will take a team of writers to fill his shoes – which is what we are putting in place,” he said.
The newspaper’s head of content Philip Bowern is taking on the role of rural affairs editor with overall responsibility for farming coverage, and new rural reporter Athwenna Irons has been recruited. She will work alongside established WMN writers, including Becky Sheaves, Martin Hesp and Simon Parker, all of whom will be contributing to the farming section.
Peter’s retirement was marked at a lunch for colleagues and members of the Westcountry agricultural community. Among the compliments he received, Anthony Gibson, former communications director at the National Farmers Union, described Peter as “knowledgeable, ever-present and supremely professional”.
Ollie Allen, secretary of the Devon County Show, said: “Peter has been a great champion for Westcountry farming and its agricultural shows”.