Adam Henson: Countryfile host endures ‘terrifying’ lockdown after borrowing money for farm

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Adam Henson, 54, exclusively told that last winter he had invested money into the Cotswold Farm Park to create a shop and restaurant, along with six lodges and new barns. However, when lockdown struck at the beginning of the year, the farm and park were forced to close for four months, causing a significant loss of revenue.

We were really very worried about the business

Adam Henson

Adam revealed: “We were really very worried about the business. Duncan, my business partner, and I are tenants of the farm. We don’t own it. 

“Over the last three years, we’ve made some significant investments into our tourist destination. We usually welcome about 160,000 visitors.

“We’ve built a new shop and restaurant, we put up six camping lodges, six lodges that we’ve invested in this last winter, put up new barns and an entrance building.

“So we’ve borrowed a lot of money to do a lot of work on the Cotswolds Farm Park, and then with lockdown, that was terrifying,” he added.

However, fortunately in July the park and farm were able to re-open and many flocked to the site after months of having to remain indoors.

Adam continued: “When we reopened on July 4, I think people were just desperate to get back out into the countryside. 

“Because we’ve got lots of space and the Farm Park is outdoors, with plenty of space, plenty of fresh air out in the countryside. 

“Then the people, you know, flocked back. And so we’ve had a very, very good summer trading from July up until now.

“The financial pot was very, very empty, so we’ve started to fill it up again.”

Not only was the public’s support invaluable, but Adam divulged that the governments Eat Out To Help Out scheme also helped enormously.

He added: “Thanks to everybody’s support when coming back. But also thanks to the government support, Eat Out To Help Out, it’s helped us, the furlough scheme was just extraordinary.”

The star also benefited from recieving a business interruption loan that helped prop up their loss of earnings.

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Adam explained: “Lloyds were on the phone straight away, saying what can we do to help and we set up a loan very, very quickly with them.”

The presenter also lives at the tourist destination as a tenant and felt worried for his home during this uncertain period of time.

He divulged: “I thought we were going to lose the whole business. And if we lost the business, that is also our homes, because we live in tenancy houses on the farm. But also we are one of the largest employers locally.

“And that would have had a massive impact on all the people that I feel personally responsible for. And so it was pretty scary at the time, but now we’re in a much better position.”

Since he was five years old, Adam has been involved in the running of the Cotswold Farm Park.

His father was the mastermind behind opening the farm park to the public back in 1971.

He told The Evening Standard: “My father was a big fan of traditional breeds of livestock and collected ones that were becoming rare and didn’t suit modern-day agriculture.

“To pay for his hobby and to support conservation, he opened the first-ever farm park in the country, if not the world.” 

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