A 32-year-old woman from Carlisle, who helps out on her family-run beef farm, has been named as Britain's Fittest Farmer at the thrilling climax of the competition's grand finale.

Erica Robison, who grew up on the family farm at Chapleknowr, just over the border in Dumfries and Galloway, took the winning trophy in the competition launched by Farmers Weekly as a fun way of sparking a vital discussion about the physical and mental health of the nation's farmers.

Erica, who is a fitness instructor at The Sands in Carlisle, was part of a 20-strong group who were selected to take part in the final of Britain's Fittest Farmer 2021.

The competition was tough - and there was a lot of camaraderie between contestants - at the qualifiers, but 10 men and 10 women were selected for the final stage of the prestigious competition with the winners revealed today (Fri).

"We were pushed through a series of physical tests, and there was also an interview round where we were scored also with equal weighting on the physical round as much as the interview round," said Erica.

Erica, who also delivers fitness tests for the MOD, said she is passionate about her job and takes pride in providing clients, old, young, experienced, athletes and also couch potatoes with classes that push them past their comfort zone.

"This is where winners are made," she said. "I am living proof. With the right guidance and coaching anyone is capable of achieving what I have. It's about mindset and believing in yourself, that's how I won Britain's Fittest Farmer."

Erica helps out on her dad's small family-run beef farm at weekends. "I grew up on the farm. My grandparents had been dairy farmers all their life until they retired on my dad's farm. You can imagine I get all the heavy lifting on the farm," laughed Erica.

She also loves running, and walking with her dogs and eldest son on the fells. “Every day is a new opportunity to be the best you can be,” says Erica.

This competition aims to get all farmers thinking and talking about their health, physical and mental, to make sure they are in top condition to run their farm businesses.

“I work out and burn calories to stay in shape, but I mainly exercise to feel good,” says Erica.

“Endorphins released after a workout can’t be bought or bottled up for a time when you feel like you need a lift. So, if I feel like I need a boost, I work out.”