As Scotland enters Phase 1 in easing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions this morning, NFU Scotland is urging those enjoying time in the countryside to continue to do so responsibly.
In Phase 1, unrestricted local outdoor activities will be permitted and travelling short distances – up to five miles – to take exercise will be allowed. The Union also hopes that the reopening of domestic recycling centres in the next few days will end the blight of irresponsible fly-tipping seen nationwide during lockdown.
NFU Scotland Head of Policy Team Gemma Cooper said
As we enter Phase 1, farmers are asking the public to ensure they act responsibly on farmland when accessing the countryside.
The job of producing food and drink means that farming activities continue in these difficult times. While the Scottish countryside remains open for people to access and enjoy, care and respect for those living and working in rural areas through these difficult times is requested.
In particular, NFU Scotland urges the following:
- Don’t cause damage to young arable crops or fields of long grass being grown for silage and hay.
- Don’t disturb farm animals or wildlife.
- Keep all dogs under control and lift all dog poo.
- Avoid farmyards and buildings, keep access to farms and fields clear of vehicles and close all gates.
- Adhere to signage requests.
- Take all litter home.
NFU Scotland has produced a poster for farmers and crofters urging care to be taken by those accessing the countryside during this exceptional period.
Landowners can download a copy of the poster here on the NFUS website.
Describing the poster, Gemma Cooper said
For many, accessing the countryside during lockdown has been a new experience. We want to help guide them on how to continue to do that responsibly and safely in Phase 1, recognising the legitimate concerns of those who are farming and crofting in these unprecedented times.
To fulfil our pledge to keep Scotland’s plates and glasses full throughout this crisis, we need farmers, crofters, their families and staff to stay safe, healthy and able to get on with the job of producing food and drink.
We respectfully ask that people please follow these simple guidelines in the poster. It will assist the many people taking access in the countryside and receive the thanks of all living and working in the countryside at this challenging time.