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British weather (and more) puts damper on outdoor enthusiasm

While most of us agree that we feel better after being in the countryside, it seems that we need the sun to shine before we are prepared to venture out. In a survey for LEAF Open Farm Sunday, half (51%) of respondents said that they are put off spending time outside because it’s too cold, 45% because it’s too wet and a quarter (23%) because it is often too muddy.

Despite us liv­ing in one of the most beau­ti­ful coun­tries in the world, 83% of the pop­u­la­tion live in urban areas[1], and it seems there are a host of things that put peo­ple off mak­ing the most that the coun­try­side has to offer.

In this fash­ion-con­scious age, one in twen­ty (5%) of us wor­ry that we don’t have the right out­door cloth­ing or footwear. This ris­es to near­ly one in ten (9%) of under 35s. We are also ner­vous, it appears, of what we might find when we get there. Near­ly one in eight (12%) say that it’s their dis­like of bugs and insects – which are vital to British farm­ers — that puts them off spend­ing time in the coun­try­side. Our lack of knowl­edge about the coun­try­side is also a bar­ri­er, with eight per­cent say­ing that they don’t know where to go – and 12% say­ing that it takes too much time and mon­ey to get there – despite most of us being less than an hour away from any coun­try­side. Oth­er rea­sons for not vis­it­ing includ­ed the coun­try­side being bor­ing, get­ting sun­burnt, lack of wi-fi, lazi­ness and lack of toi­lets. The research also reveals that for some it’s essen­tial that wher­ev­er they are going in the coun­try­side has to be pho­to­genic, with thir­ty per­cent say­ing how insta­gram­ma­ble’ a loca­tion is influ­ences their decision. 

Com­ment­ing on the find­ings ahead of this weekend’s Open Farm Sun­day (10th June), Annabel Shack­le­ton from LEAF, (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing) organ­is­ers of Open Farm Sun­day man­ag­er said: These results sug­gest that sad­ly many peo­ple are miss­ing out on all that the coun­try­side has to offer. Vis­it­ing a farm on 10th June is an ide­al oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­nect with the coun­try­side and learn more about British farm­ing. We can’t promise that it won’t rain – and it’s like­ly that there will be some mud — but farm­ers will be doing all they can to wel­come peo­ple onto their farms for a great day out! From guid­ed nature walks to find­ing out about why worms, bee­tles and bees are so impor­tant, through to see­ing sci­ence in action, or tak­ing a trac­tor and trail­er ride and admir­ing the view along the way. Each event is dif­fer­ent, but each offers a fab­u­lous oppor­tu­ni­ty to enjoy a day in the won­der­ful British coun­try­side – what­ev­er the weather! 

[1] https://​www​.cia​.gov/​l​i​b​r​a​ry/pu…

Click here to view the full press release.

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