NFU media coverage: countryside access

27 July 2021

A new NFU survey, conducted by Censuswide, has revealed that visiting the British countryside has improved the physical and mental health of people living in towns and cities across Britain over the past year.



Wellbeing Survey

As part of the launch of the survey results NFU President Minette Batters was interviewed on GB News, Minette shared her thoughts on the respite the countryside offers all of its visitors.

Coverage of the survey's findings could also be found across trade and specialist outlets such as Country Living MagazineFarmers Guardian, and Farmers Guide amongst others. All outlets mentioned quoted NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts.

"British farmers not only produce our food, but they play a vital role maintaining, protecting and enhancing the landscape that has helped all of our mental health. It’s fantastic to see that those who actually live furthest away from rural areas have directly benefitted in this way from the work of farmers."

- NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts -

Farm Safety Week

NFU member Ed Ford appeared on GB News to discuss Farm Saftey Week and why it's such an important topic, especially around harvest time.


The rise of staycations

At the beginning of the month NFU county adviser for Derbyshire, appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning to discuss the opportunity that has recently presented for farmers to diversify into tourism this summer as demand for 'staycations' has increased like never before.


Countryside code

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts was quoted in an ITV article reminding people that it's important to take care and be mindful of your surroundings when walking in the countryside. This comes in the wake of further footpath widening and an increase of livestock worrying incidents.


Stuart was also quoted in the I newspaper and the Guardian online discussing the need for the public to keep their dogs on leads and under control when around livestock. 

NFU crops board member Olly Harrison was quoted in an online iNews article.

NFU Cymru President John Davies urged all walkers to follow the Countryside Code. His comments were reported in a BBC article.


Footpath widening

New Covid-19 restrictions have meant more people are accessing the countryside, something which is always welcome, however the increase of people has caused footpaths to widen as people walk on crop to avoid mud. NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts has been quoted in the Times print newspaper discussing the widening of footpaths in rural areas.

Stuart was also quoted on a BBC Online piece, that also featured NFU crops board member Olly Harrison, discussing the issue.

Olly Harrison was previously interviewed on Farming Today (8 mins) and BBC North West Tonight (15 mins 44 secs) discussing the impact at his farm in Merseyside.



Access to countryside

As visitor numbers to the countryside continue to rise, and with a number of cattle-related deaths, NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts was interviewed on BBC You & Yours, BBC 5Live's Emma Barnett programme, Daily Mail, BBC News and The Times reassuring the public that they need not be fearful of coming to the countryside but to stay alert and follow the Countryside Code.

He also highlighted the NFU's work campaigning for an amendment to the Highways Act 1980 to allow farmers to divert public rights of way where livestock are present to help keep people safe while enjoying the countryside.

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