Report urges young people to explore as part of National Countryside Week The findings from the ‘Who’d be a Farmer Today?’ report launched to coincide with National Countryside Week starting today, highlights the disconnect between the public’s perception and the realities of modern British farming. The research also shows a substantial lack of knowledge in this age bracket about when basic fruits and vegetables are in season. More than half (54%) did not know that strawberries are a summer fruit and almost nine in 10 (87%) did not know that turnips are best grown in winter. Many simple, wholesome pursuits are also going unexplored, as it was revealed that it’s been more than a year since 51% of young adults climbed a tree, 46% visited a farm, 41% planted vegetables, 36% fed baby lambs and 29% swam in a river. More than 70% of UK land is farmed, but the research highlights that four in 10 young adults thought that farmland made up just 40% or less of the countryside – and more than a third (37%) said they had no idea. Chairman of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Lord Curry, said: “As a nation we have always prided ourselves on our beautiful and diverse countryside, however this research shows that many of the younger population are losing touch with what the countryside has to offer and unaware of how their food is produced. It’s a shame because if it carries on, the knowledge and appreciation of the country will continue to decline with future generations. “We urge young people, especially those living in cities, to leave their busy lives behind them this National Countryside Week. Take the time to explore the country, experience the peace and quiet it brings, the clean country air, and spare a thought for the hard work of the farming industry, who maintain the land and provide the everyday produce. So please think more about what you are putting in your shopping basket.” Former JLS bandmember JB Gill has moved to the countryside and turned to farming in recent years after spending most of his life living in London. He appreciates now more than ever the beauty of the countryside and the value of good quality, wholesome food from British farmers and is an avid supporter of the industry. “Becoming a farmer has been a wonderful experience for me and my family and I’m very proud to be supporting National Countryside Week,” said JB. “It would be fantastic if younger people could take a day out to the countryside to visit a farm and experience the work that goes into supplying essential food items such as milk, eggs and vegetables – which can be easily taken for granted.” Overall, the majority of young people (42%) rate their own knowledge of the countryside as poor or extremely poor. Of those who rated their knowledge as good or excellent (20%), only 27% say they have learned about it most through going out and visiting it. To see the full report or for more information on National Countryside Week visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk.