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Cotswold Seeds Founder Robin Hill (1928-2017)

Founder of Cotswold Seeds, Robin Hill, sadly passed away earlier this month, aged 88. After obtaining an agricultural degree at Cambridge and then learning the practicalities of farming from the ground up as an under cowman on a dairy farm, Robin established Cotswold Seeds in 1974, running it from a small office in his garden. He pioneered direct selling to farmers and built a reputation for specialising in bespoke, complex seed mixtures. I joined Robin thirty three years ago and he remained active during his retirement, enjoying seeing the company expand to supply grass seeds and offer technical advice to 15,000 farmers across the UK.

I’m forever indebted to Robin. He was my mentor, and taught me so much about business, farming and life. The ethos of the company he founded over forty years ago, his belief in the use of legumes and low input farming, defines what Cotswold Seeds stands for today. Robin’s byword was integrity, and he always stressed to me how important it is to be reliable and to believe in what you are doing. Approaching his eighty ninth birthday, he still had great passion and vision, and was very supportive of the decision to purchase Honeydale Farm. Indeed he said recently that he had seen all his dreams come true. We will all miss him, but it’s our intention here at Cotswold Seeds to stay true to his dreams and continue his legacy.

Robin Hill’s funeral was held earlier this week, attended by family and a great many friends. He is survived by his wife Susan and three children, Mary, Charlie and Katie.

Ian Wilkinson

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