The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) is urging attendees at this year’s Royal Highland Show to visit its health hut, which will be focused on alcohol and responsible drinking.

The health hut initiative is being rolled out by the agricultural charity to encourage farmers, and others in Scottish agriculture, to think about their wellbeing.

It will be located next to the SAYFC building at the Royal Highland Show, which takes place from Thursday, June 20 – Sunday, June 23.

The health hut nurses will be working with DrinkAware and Alcohol Focus Scotland and will provide farmers with general health checks and a space for health discussions.

RSABI is encouraging show-goers to take the time to think about their health while they are off-farm.

RSABI chief executive, Carol McLaren, said: “We’re pleased to bring our Health Hut, led by practice nurse Irene Scott, to the Royal Highland Show which we know for many Scottish farmers is the one time of year they manage to take time away from their work.

“When you factor in long working hours, tiredness, and isolation, too often farmers and others working in agriculture put off taking steps when there is a concern but the earlier they take action the better the chances are of tackling the problem.

“By introducing the heath hut at a time and place convenient to them, we are able to reach those who may otherwise ignore symptoms that could be serious if left untreated.”

Health hut

The health hut initiative has grown following a pilot at the Royal Highland Show in 2023 and RSABI now has a team of nurses and GPs around the country.

“We have been encouraged by farmers engagement with our Health Huts at shows and marts to date, many of which have gone on to seek further medical advice or have taken steps to improve their health after consulting with our health hut team,” McLaren said.

The charity’s ‘stress bucket’ will also return to the show along as part of a range of initiatives by the charity to encourage good mental health.

The stress bucket, made from recycled farm materials and designed to raise awareness around mental health in agriculture, focuses on the common causes of stress build-up experienced in farming.

It displays how stress can be reduced through steps such as exercise, good sleep, a balanced diet and talking with a friend or family member.