Alex Atack


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Words by Claire Moses and Geneva Abdul in the New York Times

If this were any other year, Ella Chandler, 19, would be playing cricket almost every day. Zak Oyrzynski, 23, would be looking for a job as a chef in London. Beth Blease, a 24-year-old personal trainer, would be helping her clients get into shape for the summer. Sam Richards, 32, would be behind a desk, working in sales. But in this pandemic year, these Britons can be found in fields across the country, doing something they probably would not have imagined a few months ago: working as farm laborers, picking berries. And pretty much enjoying it.
“A couple of young people dropped out because the pay was not what they expected,” [Zak] Oyrzynski said. And while the job started off fun, he said, it was also strict, with rules about how to behave. (Someone was written up for throwing an orange peel in a bush, he said.) “It’s not the ideal job. It’s not something I would always do,” Mr. Oyrzynski said, but “it kept me busy, and it’s educating me.”