Death of man who was proud to be a farmer

Date: Monday 15th April 2019

THE farming community lost an eloquent spokesman and advocate with the death of Russell Bowman, Castlerigg Farm, Armathwaite, aged 47.

Russell was proud to be a farmer and did his utmost to encourage others to join and play an active role in the industry, and explain its workings to the public — particularly through his role as county NFU chairman.

One of four children of Tom and the late Lily Bowman, The Dale, Ainstable, he had two brothers, Alan and David, and a sister, the late Joan.

He attended Kirkoswald Primary School, followed by Penrith’s Ullswater and Queen Elizabeth Grammar schools. He then studied at the Scottish Agricultural College, Auchincruive, Ayr.

He was an active member of the former Lazonby Young Farmers’ Club and served as its chairman. He particularly enjoyed taking part in the YFC drama competition, which the club won at regional level when Russell was involved, with him being declared best actor.

After completing his education, Russell gained experience working on a number of farms, including Les Armstrong’s Blunderfield and Alan Weir’s Low Grounds in the Eden area, and also further afield in Essex at harvest time. He then kept a dairy herd at Garth Folds, Lazonby, with his father.

It was in the year 2000 that he met his future wife, Christine Mounsey, and the couple were married the following year. They went on to have three sons, Harry, James and Bruce.

In 2002 they moved to Castlerigg Farm to run their own business, initially with beef cattle and sheep, but later concentrating on dairy cattle and arable.

Russell was an active member of the Penrith NFU branch, which he chaired, and went on to serve as county chairman in 2008-9.

He made many television appearances and wrote articles for the press, often encouraging young people to enter farming and play an active role in the industry.

He also served for two years as chairman of the NFU’s regional dairy board, and was at one time involved with the Cornerstone support group for farmers.

In his spare time he enjoyed trials biking, often at home with his sons, and made many new friends when he went to watch them play football.

He is survived by his wife Christine and their sons Harry, James and Bruce, all Castlerigg Farm; father Tom, Newbiggin, Brampton; and brothers Alan, Brampton, and David, Ainstable.