Chris Franklin

Caenhill Countryside Centre

Marsh Farm, Wiltshire

The main aim of Caenhill Countryside Centre, a not-for-profit organisation, is to educate. Helping children learn in a farming environment, Chris Franklin and his team work with schools, colleges, children with disabilities, organisations and many more. Before the Covid-19 restrictions came into play, the farm would have had 20-50 young visitors each week.

The centre has gained amazing support from the local community, volunteers and neighbouring farmers, but it is the business’ social media which is a standout contributor and allows the centre to gain many generous donations it is reliant upon to keep functioning. Every morning a daily ‘rush hour’ video is posted, which shows all the animals being let out of the barn for their daily roam.

Along with the cute faces, Chris gives an entertaining and comedic commentary and it was one of these videos which went viral globally and, in turn, gave the farm an amazing social media following. Boasting 73,000 followers on Twitter, 159,000 on TikTok, 21,000 on Instagram, 11,000 on Facebook, 2,700 on YouTube and millions of video views, Caenhill Countryside Centre is world renowned and its strong following has allowed the centre to continue on in what could have been worrying times during the pandemic.

Chris’ determination and dedication to the animals, his team and the children he educates exudes through his personality, as does his commitment to teach children about agriculture.

On winning, Chris said:

We are very humbled to win and we are taking it as a win for the whole of British agriculture. We are proud to have given people a life line during lockdown through our social media platforms and connect with the public to show them what UK agriculture is all about. Our farm is supported by charitable donations from our digital viewers across the world including Australia, America and Canada to name a few. We live streamed with them and we watched together where we could. I couldn’t do what I do without my family, my daughter Kara and my digital media partner Caroline.

What the judges said:

Chris has ensured Caenhill has a fantastic social media gathering, which is constantly growing.  Through all the comedy, Chris has got his finger on the pulse of the business and he has the team and tools to make the business a success. His vision is to help children and his growth with e-learning and reaching schools with his knowledge of video is commendable. He has plans for expansion with his new farm setup in Kenya and his digital strategy for the business is to grow and build more and more relationships.