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Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Monday, 1 November 2010
Website helps farmers find love in the countryside
Wellington boots in mud
It's often hard for farmers to find a kindred spirit

A website set up in Bedfordshire to help farmers find love has led to over a hundred marriages.

"Muddy Matches" was set up by sisters Lucy and Emma Reeves from Podington following a conversation with friends in the pub four years ago.

The online dating and social networking site for country people now has nearly 50,000 members.

Lucy told BBC Three Counties Radio how the site came about.

"We were talking about the success of larger online dating sites and social networking sites" she said, "and we thought that it would be a really good idea to do something for country people and more of a niche market."

She explained how it was often hard for farmers and others who work on the land to find the time to go out and meet a kindred spirit.

"I think it's very difficult" she said, "it's a very demanding job where you are often very tied to the farm, particularly if you've got livestock. It has long, often very anti-social hours, particularly in the summer.

"It's great to have an opportunity to meet people that you can fit in around that, rather than needing to commit to turn up to a social event or even finding the time to get to the pub!"

Success stories

The site has had many success stories, from two people who had always lived in the same village but only found out that each was single through this service, to those who discover that they actually have many friends in common once they get chatting.

"Their paths just hadn't crossed until Muddy Matches" said Lucy.

Emma revealed that even though they had always thought it was a good idea, the sisters are thrilled about how well it has been received.

"We're delighted that it's going so well" she said, "we've got just over 45,000 members at the moment and we've had lots of people getting married and having babies which is exciting.

"We obviously thought it was a really good idea, we thought there was room for it but we're very pleased with how it's going."

The story of the "Muddy Matches" website is featured on BBC One's Inside Out programme on Monday 1 November 2010 at 7.30pm.




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