Jimmy has always been passionate about nature and farming. By the time he was 16, he was the youngest ever assistant entomologist at the Mole Hall Wildlife Park in Walden. After gaining a degree in Zoology, Jimmy worked at the Entomology Department at London’s History Museum before moving on to Coventry University where he researched for a doctorate in Entomology, set up an insect laboratory and taught Animal Ecology and Animal Philosophy to undergraduate students.
But by 2003, Jimmy decided it was time to make his dream of living the good life a reality. He left London and without any experience or knowledge of farming, took on a leasehold of a 100 acre farm near Ipswich in Suffolk.
Jimmy’s roller coaster journey to change this derelict farm into a rare breed pig farm has been followed in a BBC Two series called Jimmy’s Farm. The third series was shown in Autumn 2007.
Since then, Jimmy has made a number of series for the BBC – Jimmy’s Food Factory, Jimmy’s Farming Heroes, Jimmy’s Global Farming Heroes, Darwin’s Garden, Jimmy and the Wild Honey Hunters and A Farmer’s Life For Me – all to critical acclaim and boasting high viewing figures.
As a result of his increasing popularity and success, Jimmy signed an exclusive three year deal with Channel 4 which will saw his first project launch on screen in May 2012. Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket saw the farmer challenge Britain’s biggest supermarket, Tesco, to let him prove he could make free range food affordable for everyone, and they agreed. Jimmy took on three of Tesco’s best-selling own brand products and worked with the company to try and make higher-welfare versions for the same affordable price.
He has written three books. His second, A Taste of the Country, was published in March 2006 by Penguin and went straight into the top 10 of the hardback non-fiction chart while his most recent accompanied his BBC Two series.
With his strongly held beliefs on traditional farming methods and a more natural and sustainable way of life, Jimmy has made a connection with people around the country.
His farm has continued to expand with a restaurant opening last September – completing Jimmy’s field to fork ethos and this summers sees the third Harvest at Jimmy’s a hugely popular music and food festival at the farm.
Jimmy’s highly personable manner and charismatic charm (along with the cute pigs!) captured the public’s imagination and have made him a household name.