I generally don't get English folk music.
Irish folk - you can hear it in local pubs in Ireland and there are always evidently lots of people there from all castes and classes who aren't just pretending to like it. It has widely used idioms and some of the tunes are sufficiently well-known to make it truly participative. There are some recordings and some live performances - even by people who I know - that alter my metabolism (in a good way).
But the English stuff? It's always struck me as an enthusiasm for cranks. A bit like home schooling, vegetarianism or nudism.
However, this performance by June Tabor last night on BBC Four has some elements (I stress, elements - the whole package still has a few doubtful features) that offer a glimmer of hope. Not least Martin Simpson's guitar playing on the Richard Thompson cover, 'Strange Affair' (about 15 mins in).
The set list is here. Note, that 'last night' link (above) will probably disappear in the not-too-distant. can't remember the BBC's policy on this stuff.
PS: Richard Thompson often provides another exception to the rule here. There are at least half-a-dozen songs that are must-haves for anyone.
PPS: Glimmer. That's the sort of word that English folkies probably use to mean something a bit dirty, don't you think? Remember Rambling Syd Rumpo?