A LONG-serving vet at a Sedbergh practice has retired after more than three decades in the profession.

Nick Preston, who finished his tenure at Farmgate Vets, Long Lane, on Friday, said: “It’s time to move on. I’m 65. I’ve got my health.

“The veterinary profession is moving away from what I originally wanted to do.”

He added: “I liked the old ‘fire brigade’ service that we used to provide 35 years ago.

“The emphasis nowadays - quite rightly - is on preventing disease rather than curing it.”

Mr Preston first joined the practice in 1984, after completing his veterinary training in Edinburgh.

Regarding what attracted him to the rural location in the first place, he said: “I fell in love with the area - actually, I fell in love with the view from Black Horse Hill.

“You can look down onto Sedbergh and all the Dales spreading out from it, and I just knew it was the sort of place I wanted to live and work.”

Though he joined the practice as a ‘mixed vet’, Mr Preston tended to specialise in cases involving farm animals during his long tenure.

“I have always had an interest in farm animals,” he said. “I would have liked to have been a farmer, but without a family farming background I couldn’t get into it, so I was drawn to the veterinary side.”

However, despite thoroughly enjoying his time in the profession, he said he would not do it again due to changes he has witnessed first-hand.

As well as the move away from the kind of ‘fire service’ type work he has always enjoyed, he said there was more pressure on vets now, with people expecting more of them.

He added there was less of a social side to the job in today’s climate, too, with farmers under increasing pressure, busier, and having less time to chat.