Meet the three mini farmers who are helping their 86-year-old grandfather keep Britain fed during lockdown - by mucking in and running the farm writes Charlotte Penketh-King.

Alec Burrough may be an octogenarian but can be seen riding his tractor every day as he carries out his farming duties - just as he has done daily for the past 71 years.

He proudly runs Peradon Farm in Cullompton, Devon - a 260 acre farmland with 120 organic cows, 15 chickens, three ducks, two geese and one beloved dog called Shadow.

South West Farmer:

Picture: Louise Burrough / SWNS.COM

Just as he did as a child during WW2, he's continued to work the farm, despite being classed 'extremely vulnerable' by the UK government due to a lung condition.

But inspired by their grandfather's attitude, Brothers Harry, 11, George, nice, and Jack, seven, have been mucking in more than ever.

Since lockdown started, the boys have been up at 6am to squeeze in schoolwork before an afternoon of milking, herding, mucking out, collecting eggs and cleaning up.

All three have pulled on their wellies and jumped into action to help their grandpa to run the award winning farm - tending to the animals and building fences.

The farm supplies OMSCO, the UK's largest organic dairy cooperative, with nearly a million litres of milk every year.

And the boys' eggs are usually in high demand, being sold to locals at the end of their lane.

George said: "Grandpa is amazing and he's very inspiring. We're doing an important job and making sure people can eat."

Jack added: "We're really lucky to have Grandpa and we're all trying our best to help."

Harry said: "People throw a lot out which is really bad for our planet. We farm organically in a way that's kinder to the planet and we always try to reuse and recycle, rather than throw things away."

South West Farmer:

George, nine, and Jack, seven, and Harry, 11. Picture: Louise Burrough / SWNS.COM

The boys have been home-schooled for a few years, but just like children all over the world, their routine has changed since lockdown.

Every weekday morning, the boys are up at 6am to begin homeschooling with their parents Louise, 43, and Jonathan, 41.

The brothers usually finish shortly after lunch and help out with tasks on the farm.

Harry and George help Alec with milking while Jack washes down the milking parlour.

The three boys breed and manage all of the birds on the farm themselves and take it in turns to make fresh bread every day, assisting with cooking and cleaning.

They've been herding the cows in for milking and helping with fencing, among other tasks.

And when work is done, they love nothing more than den building, wood carving and cycling around the farm.

South West Farmer:

George with some cows. Picture: Louise Burrough / SWNS.COM

Alec, who has suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) for many years, hasn't rested at all during the pandemic.

He said: "I'm just doing what I've always done and making sure people stay fed.

"People with a serious lung condition like mine are told to try and stay active, and I'm definitely doing that.

"If someone had told me I'd still be using the same Nuffield tractor to do my job 54 years on, I'd say that was a good investment!"

He said his childhood spent farming during the Second World War instilled in him an appreciation of hard work, frugality and working together for the common good.

He said: "During the war, we had to work together and make the most of everything we had.

"We didn't take anything for granted.

"I don't understand how people throw things away so easily now, whereas I was always brought up to make the most of what I had - like my tractor!"

Mum Louise said: "We are very proud of our boys and of Alec - it's a family business so we all muck in and by working together, we're producing what we normally would at this time.

"It's so inspiring to see young and old working together on the farm during this time more than ever.

"Although they've helped out for some time on the farm by choice, the boys are actually really interested in current affairs for young people and have been really keen to do their bit and go the extra mile in the crisis.

"Since they've seen all the coverage about people working extra hard to help at this time, in the NHS, shops and farms, they've been going the extra mile and also because they know grandpa is old so they're keen to help him."

She said a recent trip to the Eden project ignitied an interest in plants and on their return the boys found Monterey pine seeds, extracted them from the cones and planted them.

"They help out and watch calves being born, breed pups and deliver them, grow crops and plants, and incubate eggs and raise their own chickens, ducks and geese to lay eggs - that's been better than any science lesson in school!" she said.

READ MORE: Nation turns to home-baking during lockdown as cheese scone searches see 3,009 per cent increase