Offbeat Video

By Sophie Norris

A farmer has captured the unbelievable moment a TORNADO whipped up a 30-foot high funnel of hay… in his East Midlands field.

James Ludlam, from Leicester, East Midlands, had been working on a neighbouring field at the 300-acre Cattows Farm when he looked up and spotted the spectacle on Thursday.

Footage captured on his phone shows ferocious winds swirling hay up from the ground in a clear cylindrical column and whipping it more than 30-feet into the air.

Although he admits it wasn’t strong enough to lift anything heavy up, James believes that if his customer’s horses had been grazing on the field it would have caused distress to the animals.

James, 38, said: “It was a visual spectacle.

“Although it’s quite extreme, I doubt it was strong enough to pick me up or anything.


“The customer has a few acres of land and has horses.

“It’s lucky that the horses weren’t out because they’d be clambering around.

“You do sometimes see this kind of thing in fields around the area.

“All the hay is in long rows and sometimes you’ll see one pick up straw in the fields.

“This one is the biggest I’ve ever experienced though and with the hay being so light, I think that’s how I realised what it was.”

The dad-of-two has explained how ‘dramatic’ the cyclone looked as it twirled the hay into the air and down to the stables on the other end of the field.

James said: “I was working on the fields making hay in the tractor.

“I was just after it’d rained and I just saw the hay suddenly raising into this spiral.

“Usually it’ll pass and you might feel a gust of wind and think ‘what’s that’? It wasn’t a particularly windy day so it was unusual.

“After it’d lifted the hay, it passed down towards the stables and swept around there.

“It wasn’t strong but it had such a dramatic appearance.”

James claims the weather dictates their day-to-day tasks and August’s weather had been so cold he expects the pumpkin crop to be ready earlier.

James said: “As a farmer, we appreciate mother nature. It dictates what jobs we do that when we work alongside it every day.

“The weather has been quite bad this summer and because of the colder end to August, we’ll be able to start pumpkin picking early. We grow 10,000 pumpkins each year.”

The 300-acre farm is in the heart of the National Forest in the Midlands and grows soft fruit, vegetables and rears animals, with a farm shop and tea room.