Countryfile star Adam Henson has revealed he came close to losing his home, his farm and his livelihood during the disastrous foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

Adam, 55, and his wife Charlotte had poured everything they had into their Cotswold Farm Park in Cheltenham and they were preparing to launch the venture when the outbreak hit in 2001.

The epidemic led to millions of animals being slaughtered with farming and tourism industries both being hit hard.

Speaking in a 2016 interview, Adam admitted his farm was on the brink of collapse and he nearly lost everything.

He told the Telegraph: "The worst time was in 2001 – we'd invested heavily in Cotswold Farm Park, then foot-and-mouth hit just before we opened.

"The bank closed in and wanted their money. We probably owed £250,000 with all the borrowed money on machines and what we'd invested in the farm park.

Countryfile's Adam Henson
Countryfile's Adam Henson nearly lost his farm after the foot and mouth disease outbreak hit

"We had a big rent bill but all our assets were tied up in sheep and tractors.

"We couldn't take sheep to market because they were all shut.

"We couldn't have farm sales because nobody was allowed on our farm."

The telly star revealed they were given a boost from a "small payout" from their insurance policy and managed to survive the crisis.

Countryfile's Adam Henson and his wife Charlotte
Adam and his wife Charlotte poured everything they had into setting up their farm as a visitor attraction

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He explained they came close to collapse but were eventually able to open the farm park.

Adam went on: "We lived in a rented farmhouse on the farm – and still do – so we were about to lose our livelihoods, our jobs and houses.

"Thankfully we battled on and eventually opened Cotswold Farm Park."

He also went on to land a job on Countryfile, which gave the couple a huge boost.

Countryfile's Adam Henson
Adam was able to save the farm and went on to land a job on Countryfile

Adam told The Mirror : "I'm grateful for Countryfile.

"In 2001 when foot-and-mouth disease was rife, we couldn't open the park and business was very bad.

Countryfile did a presenter search, and although I wasn’t bothered, my partner nagged me about it, as she thought I'd be really good.

"After lots of auditions I ended up getting the job."

The Cotswold Farm Park is a working farm but is also open to the public, who can visit the rare breeds, see milking and shearing demonstrations and go on nature walks and picnics.

The venue also boasts a campsite and caravan park.