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Tractor Ted, the story so far…

Tractor Ted, the loveable little green tractor and children’s farming superhero, originated when young Mum, Alexandra Heard, was constantly asked to stop the car by her young children when they saw farm machines working in the fields.

This small seed of an idea grew when Alexandra identified that there was nothing ‘real life’ available for young children on television to watch, understand and engage with about farming and the countryside.

A conversation with a childhood farming friend, David Horler, who ran an organic farm in Somerset and… Tractor Ted was born!

“We look back to the early days of Tractor Ted with fond nostalgia!” explained Alexandra. “I, young mum with two sons and a daughter and David, farmer and dad of a young boy and girl had zero experience of building a children’s brand or indeed of putting films together and yet, we were about to embark on the biggest adventure of our lives! Luckily, our experience and knowledge of farming was much better than our filming skills and our understanding of what our children wanted – they were the driving force – was better again (if only so we could answer the ‘Why?, What? and How?’ that we were faced with daily)!

“For our first film we decided to cut our teeth at making a pilot version, which we simply called, “Tractorland”.

“It took a year with the help from two students studying media at Bath University, a scroll through Yellow Pages to find a cameraman, David’s neighbour was a wannabe actor and became the voice of Tractor Ted, and we hired a couple of walkie talkies to get us through the day! We built up footage including filling a tractor with diesel, hitching the plough, ploughing the field, seed drilling, seeing the wheat grow and going to the local bakery to watch it being made into bread and, although challenging, exhausting, overwhelming and mind-numbing are just a few of the words that describe that first day of filming, we also found it exhilarating, inspiring and downright fun!

“It was then off to an editing suite at a friend’s corporate video offices in London, we took out an advertisement in Farmers Weekly and sold 300 copies of the video in a week. Could we be onto something…?!”

15 or so years on and this simple idea of introducing young children to real life farming has proven a winner not only with children but with parents, grandparents and teachers alike. Tractor Ted is a national (and international) favourite and has inspired, educated and entertained hundreds of thousands of children over the years about life on the farm.

We have now expanded into gifts, toys and clothing and we run over 100 live events and around 100 cinema screenings over the year fans have permanent Tractor Ted Little Farms across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Tractor Ted has a loyal following of high profile ambassadors who volunteer their support, such as Ben Fogle, Clare Balding, AP McCoy and William Fox-Pitt. They have all witnessed the passion that small children develop for the little green tractor. How much enjoyment they get from his films and the fantastic information they pick up when watching over and over again! As Ben Fogle says, “Our son is obsessed with Tractor Ted and it’s taught him all about life on a farm. He can name all the different machines and he’s only two! An absolute essential for boys and girls.”

So what happens next…

“I continue to write and direct all the new Tractor Ted films and books because whenever I see something happening in the countryside, I’m always thinking how children would enjoying watching it or learning about it too!” Alexandra explained.

“David continues to run the farm where Tractor Ted is situated – it couldn’t be more ‘real life’ as we can see the cows in the field by the office, watch Farmer Tom drive the tractor into the yard to deliver the hay or offload the grain or even down tools when the sheep get out and we help herding them back into the field!” she continued.

Alexandra continued: “We continue to develop new farm toys and gifts whilst still maintaing our ethos of real life fun farm and discovery. Traditional play, exploration, adventure and fun is our motto and we are as excited at seeing kids total ‘in awe’ faces at the Big Machines Weekends, watching them discovering that cows can walk upstairs and not downstairs or seeing them splashing in puddles in total abandon (in Tractor Ted Welly Boots of course).

“We are privileged to live and work in the countryside and have the ability to hopefully inspire children whatever their background, their heritage or their circumstances into understanding what happens on the farm from combining to cheese-making!

“There will be many happy and fun years ahead as we develop new schools packages, explore more opportunities for bringing farming to life for young children and get into even more front rooms with the real life farm adventures of our little green tractor!

“We look forward to taking you with us…!”

Comments

  • reply
    Lilla

    Thank you so much for CREATING suCh aN amazing and magIcal World for our children!
    My one year old daughter is absolutely obsessed with tractor ted and we Find the tv series really educational and fun too!

    All our best xx

    January 20, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Lilla… that is so lovely to hear; thank you so much! Do give your daughter a big ‘Toot Toot’ from Tractor Ted and I’ll be sure to pass your comments on to the brains behind Tractor Ted! Your comments make all the hard work soooo worth while! Sending your family all our love! With our very best wishes, Jo xx

      January 20, 2021
  • reply
    Dan Santillo

    My 20 month old son is obsessed with it. Tractor was his first word. He is dying for more episodes as 5 aren’t enough. (I am too, I’ve learnt stuff as well and I’m 44 haha)

    January 27, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Dan… that is so lovely to hear and especially that the whole family is being teducated! Brilliant! We’re hoping to get another episode out this year but are obviously somewhat restricted with lockdown. Do head over to the website though as we have a number of our older films (please note that different theme tune, characters etc) which are available to buy as DVDs or as streaming/download options. Do check the trailers out on Vimeo first as these are free to watch! We will keep you posted with updates on our social media channels and c/o enews. In the interim, sending a big ‘Toot Toot’ to your son from Tractor Ted xx

      January 28, 2021
  • reply
    Steven

    Hello, team, From australia! (Sorry for all caps – can’t Seem to turn them off!)

    We stUmbled ACROSS the show on youtube and it has become an absolUte favE for our toddler. He basically always wanTs to be oUt at a farm or WATCHING ted on the bOx. We are LOOKING aT ways of getting your great looking merch Out here. Keep up the good work. 🙂

    January 28, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      How lovely to hear from you and from the other side of the world! It’s wonderful to hear what a reach Tractor Ted has and how he is loved by toddlers and young children across the world! There is something quite magical to hear that despite all the world is throwing at us currently that Tractor Ted is bringing some joy into young children’s lives! Sending you all our love and a big ‘Toot Toot’ and keep watching (we do dispatch to Australia so we can always wing some product over to you)! With our very best wishes, Jo x
      PS… we would love to see some photos of live on a farm in Australia so do send these over to our social media team c/o Facebook or Instagram as they’d love to share!

      January 29, 2021
  • reply
    sue bennett

    I have sent over the years to our grandchildren in Kentucky USA – they have the equipment to watch – think its called PAL – they have grown up with Tractor Ted and love it and how educational everything is, the children love tractor ted and as soon as they hear the tractor ted music the little ones come running. i was recommended by a friend whose children also love tractor ted and i have recommended to my brother so his grandchildren have been introduced to tractor ted now. really good educational wholesome everything.

    February 11, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Sue… thank you so much for your lovely comments and we’re thrilled to hear that your grandchildren are loving Tractor Ted over in Kentucky! It’s wonderful to hear how our little green tractor is loved in households across the world! We’re running a “send-a-hug” campaign this Valentine’s so sending the very biggest tedtastic hugs to you and all your family from your grandchildren to your brother’s grandchildren, to your friend and more! Thank you for all your love and support – it means the world to us!

      February 12, 2021
  • reply
    Lorna

    My 19 month old LOVES Tractor Ted. We live next door to a farm so he was already in awe of all things farm, and we love the fact he can learn more about farming without us having to annoy the farmer next door constantly! His favourite song is the carrot song, his feet go and his hands clap and he “sings” at the top of his lungs. We’re hoping to get to one of the events this year (if they are allowed to go ahead) and he’s having a Tractor Ted birthday party this year – I’ve already printed the downloadables and we’ll be ordering the party plates, cups and hats for him to have a Tedtastic birthday!

    February 17, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Lorna
      How gorgeous that you have a Ted fan in the house and it’s wonderful to hear of his carrot song singing (do share on social media if you like as I’m sure all our Mums and Dads would love to see – am thinking we might need to do a Ted Sing/Dance Off one day)!!!
      We’ve just upgraded the FunZone section of the website so hopefully you’ve found the latest activities and downloads – the Pin the Wheel on the Tractor is always fun for birthdays as well as the Treasure Hunts around the house/garden (works whether it’s a lockdown birthday or – fingers crossed – not)! Easter activities will also be coming soon!
      In the interim keep us posted with all your little one’s Ted antics and YES… looking forward to meeting you at an event; fingers and toes crossed!
      Sending you our very best wishes and a massive ‘Toot Toot’!
      With kind regards
      Jo x

      February 18, 2021
  • reply
    Tom Kedwards

    I would say my daughter is the fan but she introDUced me to this lovely series.
    As her father, i mysELf cant get enough of tractor tEd! It is fun, cute and edUcational and i feel that children need to learn about farming to appreciate the things that they are simply not taught in school.
    Thanks again for this truly magniFicent series

    February 17, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Tom
      What a gorgeous email and it’s so true of so many of our Ted friends that the series is written for little ones but parents (and grandparents) watch and learn just as much too! Makes me think we need to some product for the parents! It’s the joy of our green tractor that he just gently educates as he goes (Teducation!) in a fun, friendly and engaging manner! Absolutely agreed that the more we can do to help us all understand where food comes from and the farming story, the better! Thrilled that you’re enjoying Ted so much!
      With our very best wishes and sending you and your daughter a big ‘Toot Toot’ from Tractor Ted and all his friends!
      Jo x

      February 18, 2021
  • reply
    Nick knight

    Dear tractor ted,
    My 2 year old son calls out for you before his mum And me in tHe morninG. He loves Watching your episodes and i expect his next birthday wIll be tt themed! He will be very excited tO hear another ePisode Is In the pipeline!
    From,
    Kit’s dad!
    P.s my wiFe and i fInd Ourselves singing the combine harvester song to eAch other (from “munchy cRUnchy”)

    February 21, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Kit’s Dad!
      Awww… do send Kit a big ‘Toot Toot’ from Tractor Ted (and as a Mum myself, I’m not sure what I think about him calling out for Tractor Ted before you and his Mum in the mornings)! Hope this goes down okay?!! If you get 2 mins – you must send us a video of you and your wife singing the harvester song from Munchy Crunchy; we might need to share on our social channels!!!
      Sending you all lots of love in these tough times.
      Jo

      February 25, 2021
  • reply
    dominique

    My 18 month old is obsessed with tractor ted and midge the dog! he adores watching, thank for creating such a great social channel on youtube . we all love singing along to the songs! toot toot!!
    ps what breed of doggy is midge? she is gorgeous! x

    March 11, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Dominique
      How lovely to hear that your little one is loving Tractor Ted! Do send him a big ‘Toot Toot’ from Tractor Ted and all his friends!
      Midge is a Miniature Wire Haired Daschund cross with a Jack Russell (and a complete diva)!!!!
      With my very best wishes and we’re hoping for a new episode to come out for the summer (fingers and toes crossed)!
      With kind regards
      Jo

      March 25, 2021
  • reply
    Debra Sainsbury

    My LITTLE GRANDSON jarvis is obsessed With tractor ted. We cant wAit for a new series to come out. Well done to you all.

    March 19, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Debra
      That is so lovely to hear and I’ll be sure to pass on to the team!
      Sending your grandson a big ‘Toot Toot’ from Tractor Ted!
      With my very best wishes
      Jo

      March 25, 2021
  • reply

    WE HAVE BEEN FIRM FOLLOWERS SINCE 2016, YOU HAVE BEEN A GREAT SOURCE OF JOY FOR MY TWO BOYS. TRACTOR TED GOT US THROUGH SOME PRETTY TOUGH TIMES WHEN MY SECOND WAS BORN UNWELL.
    MY BOYS ARE NOW 5 AND 3 AND STILL OBSESSED, WE LIVE IN THE COUNTRY AND THEY ARE NOW SO GOOD AT IDENTIFYING ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AGRICULTURAL VEHICLES 🙂

    ITS SO TOUCHING AS MY GRANDFATHER WAS A FARMER SO IT IS LIKE RELIVING MY CHILDHOOD! THINK THERE IS VERY LITTLE WE HAVEN’T BOUGHT TRACTOR TED WISE!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH ALEXANDRA AND TEAM FOR WHAT YOU DO EXCITED TO SEE MORE FILMS COME OUT!

    Like you i have started an idea from something small and it has grown!

    March 19, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Heather
      This is so lovely to hear and I’ll be sure to pass on your comments to the Tractor Ted Co-Founders (Ally and David) and the team!
      It is so heart warming to hear what Tractor Ted has brought to families and I just hope that your little one is better now. We feel so fortunate to work for such a great company and just love that we can introduce little ones to farming and the great British outdoors! Sounds as though you have quite some farming experience in the family though with a farming Grandfather!
      Wishing you all our best with the family (and you need to tell us more about your idea)!
      With kind regards
      Jo

      March 25, 2021
  • reply
    Gerrie Mooney

    My 18 month old Grandson is obsessed with Tractor ted. We would love to buy more videos but live in the U.S. Any chance you can sell videos for download?

    March 24, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Gerrie
      This is lovely to hear and absolutely! Some of our latest episodes are available to watch for free on Amazon Prime Video (just search on Tractor Ted) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/tractorted) and we also have a number of the “older” films available to download via Vimeo. If you just head over to our website and click on the films link (https://www.tractorted.co.uk/product-category/films/), any of the images with the ‘play’ button can be purchased c/o Vimeo and/or iTunes.
      I do hope that this helps.
      With my very best wishes
      Jo

      March 25, 2021
  • reply
    Katie Jures

    Thank you so much for creating Tractor Ted. Having grown up on a farm in Scotland myself and moved to England now living rurally my 2 year old son is obsessed with all things farming. During Covid we haven’t been able to visit my family but the love with Tractor Ted remains. When he wakes up in the morning and comes in for cuddles the first thing that’s asked for Tractor Ted! We have downloaded ALL the movies and watch them on repeat constantly. Thank you so much for creating a great education and fun programme for kids to watch and learn from!

    April 7, 2021
    • reply
      Jo Sparrow

      Dear Katie
      Thank you so much for this as messages such as yours make everything we do so worthwhile! It’s just great to spread the love of farming and the countryside to our little ones and create fun and entertainment too!
      Do send your 2 year old a big ‘Toot Toot’ from Tractor Ted and fingers crossed you can get to see your family VERY soon!
      With our very best wishes
      Jo

      April 10, 2021

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