Visiting British farmland improves mental health, survey finds

The majority of those surveyed said visits to the countryside made them appreciate farmers more
The majority of those surveyed said visits to the countryside made them appreciate farmers more

Visiting British farmland has improved the public's physical and mental health over the course of the past year, according to a new survey.

Conducted by Censuswide, the survey spoke to more than 2,000 British people outside of rural areas across England and Wales.

The vast majority (87%) of respondents who visit the British countryside and farmland said visits to the farmed landscape had improved their wellbeing.

And nearly half (47%) said they valued the British countryside and farmland more since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Of those, 84% agree their visits had made them appreciate the role farmers play creating Britain's iconic rural landscapes.

More people than ever before have been visiting farmland over the past year due to the UK's varying lockdown restrictions.

It comes following the new #FarmingCAN industry campaign, which shows 71% of people feel fortunate to be able to access the British countryside.

And over half of people (53%) are now more likely to seek out leisure and tourism in the UK countryside than travelling abroad.

NFU deputy president Stuart Roberts said the results from the survey showed the public’s huge appreciation of the benefits the British countryside offered to the nation.

“British farmers not only produce our food, but they play a vital role maintaining, protecting and enhancing the landscape that has helped all of our mental health.

"It’s fantastic to see that those who actually live furthest away from rural areas have directly benefitted in this way from the work of farmers.

“The appreciation we’ve seen from the public for the respite the farmed landscape has provided has been fantastic to see."

The NFU commissioned the Wellbeing and Access survey to Censuswide who surveyed 2,009 adults living outside of rural areas in England and Wales between 10-15 June 2021.