If ever you have a spare moment to read a blog post please make it this one. A tribute to a friend, gone but not forgotten. 

  Nathan Atkinson 1992-2019 

This entry has been a long time in the writing. It’s been started many a time, but before now I’ve not been able to finish. It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that friend and farmer Nathan Atkinson sadly died in a farming accident, 19th December 2019. He was just 26 years old.  
I first had the pleasure of connecting with Nathan over his popular Instagram page dedicated to his love of farming and photography. It was shortly after that I painted his stunning photograph of British Long Horn Cow, Holly, now part of my limited edition print collection. We cemented our friendship during the filming of BBC Countryfile, 2 years ago, as we shot the Lauren's Cows feature on his family farm in Ulverston, Lake District. 
Lauren Terry, BBC Countryfile Live
'Holly' photo by Nathan Atkinson, limited edition print by Lauren Terry


Above - Nathan's Original photograph of Holly, alongside my limited edition print.  
Left - Filming BBC Countryfile live at Crake Valley Longhorns. 
Farming was a huge part of Nathan’s life, along with his love of cricket! He was manning the farm while his parents Tim and Deb were out of the country visiting Nathan’s sister in New Zealand, volunteering to stay behind to care for the animals. I can’t begin to comprehend the loss they must all be feeling. 
'He was a very special person and affected so many peoples lives. His calm caring nature meant animals and people felt loved in his presence.' John Atkinson, Uncle  
I only knew Nathan briefly, meeting him only a handful of times, but he had a huge impact on me both personally and in business. Lauren’s Cows started surprisingly and it took a long time for me to grow confidence in myself as an artist. I would doubt my talent and worried about whether the farming community would accept me or just think my art was naff. Nathan was one of the first people in the agricultural scene, that I had zero prior connection with, to enthuse about my paintings. It was these small interactions that gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and contact more farmers. It’s amazing how brief encounters can have such a lasting effect. 
Right - Nathan enjoying his animals with loving girlfriend Katherine. He was always trying to tempt me to stray from my cows to paint a piggy or pup from his fantastic pictures!  
Nathan Atkinson with his animals and girlfriend Katherine
It’s an opinion I share with so many others. When not farming, Nathan captained the local cricket team, as well as teaching the sport at a near by primary school. He was also a much loved house master at Dallam School near Milnthorpe. It was clear from the very first time that I met Nathan that he simply was ‘one of the good ones’. 
It was through his Instagram account that Nathan really touched so many. He was a fantastic photographer. Although only practicing in his free time, his photographs were always stunning capturing the beauty of the Lake District and giving people world wide an insight into farming. His account was followed by well over 8000 people from across the world who tuned in to see his snapshots that would always bring a smile. When his Dad, Tim shared the sad news of his passing the tributes came flooding in. 
'I am so terribly terribly sorry for your loss. Rest In Peace Nathan, I’ve enjoyed the photos you’ve shared of the life you clearly loved.' 
'I am a small farmer in Canada. I received great joy from following your son’s account. Beautiful countryside, his love of farming and the outdoors was uplifting. I am so sorry for your loss. My sincerest condolences.' 
'I am so sad to hear this. What a fantastic young man. Love this account and his enlightened approach to farming. I'm so sorry for you all.' 
'Like so many of us here, I too truly enjoyed seeing your son’s posts about farm life through his eyes. I send my deepest sympathy from our farm in Tasmania, Australia.' 
'Having followed Nathan for a number of years, this is absolutely heartbreaking to read. I am so sorry that this has happened. I have absolutely loved seeing Nathan's posts. I'm from a city, and have little knowledge or experience of farming, and Nathan's passion and outlook on farming and the countryside brought me and countless others joy, and I hope that fact can bring you a small amount of joy at such an awful time.' 
I urge you to take a moment to enjoy his photography, many of which are captioned #howluckyami, on his Instagram profile as they truly are breath taking. Both Holly and Ronnie were painted from photos taken by Nathan. 
Farming can be such a dangerous occupation. You work long hours, often solo, at heights, with machinery and even animals have their hazards, especially cattle. So many farmers are seriously injured or killed when performing everyday tasks on the farm. 
I can’t express in words what a pleasure it was to know Nathan, I only wish I’d had more opportunities. It was a breath of fresh air to meet someone who so loved what they did for a living and had such an appreciation for the world around him. My Holly print hangs above my desk and I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to create something that hopefully encapsulates everything that Nathan was about. These artworks and his photographs will be a lasting legacy of a man who gave so much joy to so many. 
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On 19th December 2020 at 20:21, John Atkinson wrote:
A year on I still cant believe he’s left us, I miss him every day, reading your words again this evening reminds us of what an amazing young man he was and how much he packed into his 24 years. He will live long in our hearts
On 29th February 2020 at 23:46, Mathew Cook wrote:
Great man, lovey tribute. The cricket scene will not be the same with a true gent 😭
On 29th February 2020 at 09:38, Mo laidlaw wrote:
Keep up your amazing art Lauren I'm sure you will do a painting to honour Nathan our thoughts to his family & friends . Mo & James
Farm in Northumberland. X x
On 28th February 2020 at 21:41, John Atkinson wrote:
Thanks so much for these kind words, there’s not a second goes by that we don’t think about Nathan, he was truly a special person
On 28th February 2020 at 20:20, Sally Sterland wrote:
Thanks for your fabulous tribute. Nathan was my nephew. He really was such a special person, a kind and gentle soul and an inspiration to so many.
On 28th February 2020 at 19:00, James wrote:
What a comfort this must be to his family to know what an impact he had to so many including you, even in passing.

Keep up the painting - perhaps time to stray to a piggy or pup for a one off tribute in his honour?

I would certainly be interested in purchasing a pig or spaniel print - perhaps some of the proceeds which could go to a cause close to his heart?

Just a thought...
On 28th February 2020 at 18:47, Ellie wrote:
Extremely moving piece. Every best wish to his family, girlfriend and his friends. Clearly such a person will leave an impact on this world - from his photos to the images you have enshrined in your paintings. Humbling - we can all only strive to have such a similar impact on those around us. Thank you for highlighting the dangers of a farmer's life - From a farmer's daughter and Land Agent
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