ONE dairy farmer has seen a huge rise in demand for milk deliveries amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Ceri Cryer who runs Brinkworth Dairy with husband Chad, says their customers have more than doubled in under two months, particularly since the outbreak.

“We’ve been run ragged,” said Ceri. “In February we had about 100 customers – now we’ve got 250.”

The dairy operates a milk delivery service to nearby villages, which has recently expanded to include Brooklands, Grittenham, Dauntsey, Dauntsey Lock, the Somerfords, Seagry and Minety.

A new milkman has been recruited since to help manage the demand.

Ceri added: “I’m getting messages from people saying they’re not able to leave their homes and calls from people who are vulnerable or elderly. It feels like a duty to try and come out to those people. We have to help them get what they need.”

Food hubs are being set up at locations in Garsdon and Charlton where produce will be delivered and customers can come and collect their orders at specified times.

“The milk round used to take me four hours a week,” said Ceri. “And now it’s taking me two lots of six hours.”

The family has been running the farm since 1910 when Ceri’s great grandfather established their pedigree Friesian herd. Her grandfather and father both ran the farm before Ceri started Brinkworth Dairy in 2006 making cheese, expanding to include a milk round in 2008.

Ceri continued: “It’s nice that people seem to be reconnecting with local food at this time. Everyone is so grateful and appreciative which makes it really rewarding.”

Milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream all made from milk produced by the farm’s 120 strong herd is also available to order for delivery.

“Throughout this outbreak it seems people are really appreciating famers and realising that UK farming is important,” said Ceri.

“Over the past year or so there has been a huge rise in veganism and I think farmers have felt a bit attacked. But now it feels that people actually appreciate their food supply a lot more.

“Wiltshire is a really good place for growing grass, and while humans can’t eat grass it is a great place to successfully rear cows to give us the milk we need.”

Ceri continued: “We want to maintain this beyond the coronavirus lockdown and create a sustainable service for people to use in the future.”