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The new study suggests farmers are the unsung heroes of Britain because the full scope of their tireless work goes under-appreciated. The majority of Britons (94 per cent) think the work that farmers do is important, the survey found.

The new study sug­gests farm­ers are the unsung heroes of Britain because the full scope of their tire­less work goes under-appreciated.

The major­i­ty of Britons (94 per cent) think the work that farm­ers do is impor­tant, the sur­vey found. But, only 12 per cent of the nation can claim to be well informed about what they do for the countryside. 

Indeed, the research found 71 per cent of Britons have no idea that farm­ers are respon­si­ble for look­ing after almost three quar­ters of the countryside. 

The new study com­mis­sioned by sus­tain­able farm­ing char­i­ty LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing), organ­is­er of Open Farm Sun­day, sug­gests peo­ple aren’t famil­iar with the essen­tial work that is car­ried out on a dai­ly basis. 

More than a third (35 per cent) don’t know farm­ers plant and main­tain hedgerows and wood­land and 62 per cent had no idea they plant and man­age wild­flow­ers, while 69 per cent don’t know they cre­ate ponds for wildlife. 

Over three quar­ters (79 per cent) don’t know they cre­ate habi­tats for bee­tles, feed birds (77 per cent), and install bird and bat box­es (72 per cent).

The major­i­ty (57 per cent) had no idea farm­ers main­tain foot­paths, the research also found. 

But, the Open Farm Sun­day research shows there is an appetite to learn with four out of 10 (39 per cent) report­ing that they want to learn more about the work farm­ers do.

Half of Britons (48 per cent) want to see more food labels indi­cat­ing sus­tain­abil­i­ty of prod­ucts and 26 per cent say they are more wor­ried about sus­tain­able food pro­duc­tion than price.

45 per cent say they buy British when pos­si­ble and 40 per cent care­ful­ly look at food labels.

The rise of farm­ing TV shows like Clark­son’s Farm has also impact­ed con­sumers’ knowl­edge, the research sug­gests. Almost four in ten (37 per cent) get their infor­ma­tion about farm­ing from TV doc­u­men­taries or celebri­ty farm­ers like Jere­my Clark­son, Matt Bak­er, and Kelvin Fletcher.

But, 20 per cent still don’t get any infor­ma­tion about farming. 

LEAF has been run­ning Open Farm Sun­day for 18 years. 

The annu­al event — which takes place this year on June 9 — is the nation­al open day for farm­ing and lets mem­bers of the pub­lic vis­it farms to see first-hand what farm­ers do. 

Annabel Shack­le­ton, LEAF’s Open Farm Sun­day Man­ag­er, said: Farm­ers real­ly are the guardians of the earth, but are often unsung heroes, who go to great lengths to pro­tect the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment around them whilst pro­duc­ing nutri­tious food for us all to enjoy. 

Farm­ing with nature is a vital bat­tle­ground on which our heroes live, thrive and some­times strug­gle — there are chal­lenges we don’t see, threats that are ongo­ing, vic­to­ries that aren’t recognised.

Farming’s annu­al open day, Open Farm Sun­day, now in its 18th year, takes place on 9th June, and gives every­one the oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cov­er what farm­ers do to farm with nature and why it is so impor­tant for all of us and our planet. 

89 per cent of event vis­i­tors to a farm last year, said that their vis­it has encour­aged them to buy more British food and 96 per cent said that they have a greater appre­ci­a­tion of the work that farm­ers do.

We know that for many vis­i­tors, Open Farm Sun­day is a fun day out with fam­i­ly and friends – but we also know that they come away from events with increased knowl­edge and respect for British farm­ers and all of the often-unseen impor­tant work that the indus­try delivers.” 

For the full press release

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