Farmers sound appeal to public as lockdown rules ease
Farmers across Leicestershire and Rutland are appealing to people to respect their land and the countryside as greater outdoor freedom is allowed from Monday in the latest easing of lockdown restrictions.
With most schools starting to break up for the Easter holidays and outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households being permitted, it will be easier for friends and families to meet outside.
Many will head for rural parts to enjoy some exercise and fresh air as the ‘stay at home’ guidance is relaxed at the start of next week.
Farmers say they are proud custodians of stunning local countryside and they want walkers, joggers and cyclists to help them ensure the beauty of these rural areas is preserved.
Matthew Robinson, Leicestershire and Rutland county chairman for the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said: “During the pandemic when most people were stuck at home, the importance of the beautiful British countryside was brought into sharp focus, not only as a food producer but also as a place to escape the restrictions of lockdown.
“We welcome everyone who wants to explore the great outdoors but we also want to remind people that this stunning rural scenery is also a working environment, with farmers busy lambing and moving cattle to fresh pasture at this time of year, for example.
“Following simple rules like keeping to footpaths to avoid crop and wildflower damage, cleaning up dog mess and making sure your dog is on a short lead near livestock, is the easiest and most effective way of doing your bit to protect our countryside.
“If walkers, runners and cyclists stick to the Countryside Code, our rural areas can continue to be a refuge for many and a safe place to farm.”