Farmers and crofters are being encouraged to make use of a range of colourful posters to inform the public about farming and responsible access.
The posters, produced by NFU Scotland’s (NFUS) next generation group, are designed to inform members of the public about farming activities and the environment, while also encouraging responsible access.
Launched in June last year, each of the 13 What’s Happening In This Field posters features a section for farmers to write information about what is happening in that field, as well as presenting facts about the industry.
The topics covered by the posters are: General crops; barley; oats; wheat; grassland; beef; sheep; poultry; pigs; dairy; biodiversity; and nesting birds.
Each of the posters asks members of the public to please enjoy responsible access, and thanks people for keeping their dogs on a lead.
NFUS next generation group chairman Pete Moss, who farms in Orkney, encouraged his peers to make use of the posters in the months ahead as Covid-19 restrictions ease and more people are likely to visit the countryside.
“We all have a role to play in helping inform the public about the farming activities we are undertaking,” said Mr Moss.
He said the posters were designed to help farmers and crofters engage with the public and tell their own personalised story to those taking access.
“By telling our own farming story, where we manage the environment whilst producing food, we can help ensure that those accessing these areas do so responsibly and safely,” added Mr Moss.
“We also want to be positive and thank them or their continued support for Scottish produce – a trend we have seen increase throughout the pandemic.
“Let’s take the opportunity to tell the public where their food and drink comes from, how we protect and encourage biodiversity and wildlife, and what they can do to responsibly visit these areas.”
Lanarkshire farmer Andrew Neilson, from East Brackenridge Farm, said the posters have been a benefit to his business.
He said: “Through recent lockdown months a huge amount of people have flocked to the countryside to enjoy its beautiful scenery for long walks and bike rides.
“I chose to take advantage of this and educate the public by using the next generation group’s posters.”
Mr Neilson added: “We have used these to explain to passers-by what is happening in our fields. This also should deter certain cyclists from using our winter wheat crop as a mountain bike track.”
The posters are available to download on a new access hub on the NFUS website at nfus.org.uk
The hub, which launched last week, features useful information on access rights, downloadable resources such as posters, and a portal for farmers and crofters to log any problems they have with access-takers.