1987 was Emmerdale's sixteenth year in production. The show celebrated its 15th anniversary in October this year. The major storyline of the year was the protests over the planned nuclear wast dump for Beckindale. This year was when the focus was drifting even further from Emmerdale Farm and onto the village more. By this time it was becoming more noticeable since the gradual stray of emphasis from the farm began in 1979.
- 3 March, Jackie Merrick accidently falls down a disused mineshaft, while trying to rescue a stray sheep. The villagers send out a search party.
- March, Jack Sugden's old flame Marian Wilks returned to the village to visit her father Henry.
- August, the residents of Beckindale rebelled against government plans to dump nuclear waste in Beckindale.
- 5 August, Jackson Walsh was born.