Media reports of flooding and gale force winds are essential to keep the country updated on the weather situation but up and down the country tourism businesses are seeing a drop in enquiries – when they need the business the most as they come out of winter and into the weeks leading to Easter.
“We are in contact with all our 1,200 members – and they are a gauge of the real situation out there in the countryside. 99% of our farms are open for business and none of them are closed due to the weather, although a number of Somerset properties are supporting local families as a priority over business.
That means that farms up and down the UK are waiting to welcome guests, serve them local food, give them a real farm experience and start the season off properly. If people stay away then the effect will be terrible for so many rural communities. Of course we also have farm members in Somerset and we are ready to support them and get them back on their feet.
But, if there is one thing we would ask of the British traveller this year, on behalf of our farm members, it would be to pledge to stay in Britain for one short break this year – put some of your holiday budget into Britain and make a positive difference to rural communities,” said Andy Woodward of Farm Stay UK, the leading farm holiday accommodation group.
The picture shows Farm Stay member – Brackenborough Hall Coach House, Louth in Lincolnshire.