Outdoor accommodation provider, Pitchup, has shown its support to UK farmers by appointing a new charity partner – The Farming Community Network (FCN) .

FCN is a voluntary organisation and charity with a goal of improving the health and wellbeing of those involved in farming while providing support at times of difficulty and change.

The charity was chosen by Pitchup, acknowledging the struggles many farmers are facing as the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) has been phased out.

As a result, there has been an increase in worry, stress and anxiety amongst farmers causing farm incomes to fall.

The founder of Pitchup, Dan Yates said: “Many farmers are having a tough time as the government transitions away from basic payments to public money for public goods, which is causing real concerns over the future viability of their businesses.”

Yates added that this “isn’t just impacting on their bottom line, it is having a significant impact on the mental health of many farmers and their families”.

“FCN does an amazing job in supporting farmers who are struggling with this change, as well as those who need help in any area of their business or life. And we want to support them in providing these vital services,” he added.

British holiday effects on farming

According to Yates, during the Covid-19 pandemic people had to holiday in the UK rather than go abroad.

This meant that Britain’s farmers had to provide thousands of extra camping and caravan pitches.

This has created a trend for holidaying in the UK, providing increased opportunities for farmers to generate new revenue streams. 

Yates added: “Farmers have turned to agri-tourism to help generate a new source of income from their land.

“It’s easy to see why. It is a quick and cost-effective form of diversification which only requires a modest area of land, and it fits easily around the day-to-day farming activities,

‘Plus, the social side can be very effective in helping alleviate feelings of loneliness, worry, and stress.

“We see the agri-tourism sector going from strength to strength and playing an important role in helping to make farms sustainable in the light of the current changes,” Yates added.

He said that “farmers are the backbone of Britain” providing the majority of the food we eat while also looking after the British countryside, and “they deserve recognition for that”.

Senior partnerships manager at FCN, Georgina Lamb, described Pitchup’s support as a “lovely gesture for the farming community”.

Lamb said: “In choosing to support FCN, Pitchup.com is recognising the vital role farmers play in their business. That of sculpting and taking care of the very thing they’re selling, the glorious British countryside.”

Lamb added that without “farmers to do this, rural Britain would not have half the magnetic pull it does to holidaymakers”.

“Pitchup’s support will help as many farmers as possible get through any struggles they might be facing, be that financial, mental or physical health, bereavement or family breakdown,” she added.

According to Lamb, FFN’s main aim is to aid in making a healthy and happy farming community across the country.

“Support like this will really help us achieve that,” Lamb concluded.