AN initiative that combines farming, the community and exercise has been hailed a runway success.

FarmRunner is a free five-kilometre run that takes place at Devereux Farm, in Kirby-le-Soken, every Sunday morning.

Runners are joined each week by an increasing number of farmers across the country who take part in the virtual #FarmRunner community.

Farmers and others involved in the farming sector are being encouraged to go for a run, make a video and post it on social media using the hashtag #FarmRunner.

Closer to home, at Devereux Farm, runners have the chance to start their day with some fresh air and exercise, while taking in the farm’s beautiful surroundings. The route takes in the seawall and is nestled within the stunning Walton Backwaters.

“It’s going brilliantly so far,” said Ben Eagle, whose family own Devereux Farm.

“We’ve been going for around six weeks and numbers are building each week.

“FarmRunner is a way of bringing local people together, as well as promoting physical and mental wellbeing, while joining forces with the farming community.

“Unfortunately, statistics tell us there’s a high rate of suicide and depression among farmers, partly because they spend so much time working in isolation.

“This is a positive move to welcome communities onto farms, forming friendships while also getting some exercise.”

In order to launch Farmrunner in Kirby, Eagle joined forces with the Thrive Outdoor fitness and wellbeing group and together they hosted their first 5km run on Sunday, June 30.

Thrive Outdoor director Andy Bareham said: “A bit like parkrun on a Saturday morning, our event is for everyone, of all ages and abilities.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned cross-country runner or a first-timer, just looking to get active.

“Some people even walk the course and bring their children and dogs.

“The point is that they’re doing something fun and positive.

“It’s an entirely personal experience and people will have their own reasons for getting involved, which is the whole point.

“The main thing is that they enjoy themselves and get something out of it.”

FarmRunner gets underway at 8.30am at Devereux Farm every Sunday. Participants listen to a short briefing and are guided through some warm-up exercises before setting off.

Afterwards they have the chance to chat while enjoying refreshments.

Meanwhile, Thrive Outdoor have another big date in their diary – a ‘secret water’ obstacle challenge festival on September 14 and 15.

Aimed at participants aged 14 years and over, the obstacle-packed 5km circuit runs through Devereux Farm.

It will include farmland and coastal scenery and those putting their skills to the test can take part as an individual, a group, for charity or as part of a corporate, club or organisation team.

There will be a choice of three mission levels – the 5K ‘Quest of the Masterdon’, the 10K ‘Legend of the Firefly’ and the 15K ‘Feast of the Sacred Eel’.

Following the adult challenge on September 14, youngsters have the chance to join in the following day with an obstacle-packed 2km.

“We’re really excited about this and think it will be a very special weekend,” added Bareham.

“It promises to be great fun, a real adventure and a fantastic experience for those taking part. As well as the obstacle courses, we want to make it an event for the whole village.

“The farm will become a hive of activity.”

To buy tickets for the event, visit