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Daily’s award-winning farming editor bows out

An award-winning farming editor at a regional daily has retired after a long career in journalism.

Peter Hall, left, has left his position as farming editor at the Western Morning News after more than a decade in the role.

He retired from the title at the end of last month, editing his last farming supplement for the paper, and a new team has been put in place for its rural coverage.

The daily has recruited new rural reporter Athwenna Irons to work alongside its team of existing writers who will contribute to the farming section and the newspaper’s head of content, Philip Bowern, has become the rural affairs editor with overall responsibility for farming coverage.

In a story about Peter’s retirement, WMN editor Bill Martin said he was a thoroughly professional and hugely knowledgeable farming editor.

He said: “It will take a team of writers to fill his shoes – which is what we are putting in place.”

During his time as farming editor, Peter was the 2011 winner of the Yara Environment and Rural Issues Award for an article about badgers and bovine TB and he received the award from the Princess Royal.

The same year, he was also named the best agricultural journalist on a regional title by the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

Peter’s retirement was marked with a lunch for colleagues and members of the region’s agricultural community, who praised his work for the newspaper.

Anthony Gibson, former communications director at the National Farmers Union and a long-standing WMN columnist, 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”.