RURAL communities are being warned to take extra care following the Government’s decision to close schools, colleges and universities.

With farming having the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK there are fears that having children at home may put them at risk.

The Farm Safety Foundation points out that two children were among the 39 people killed on farms last year.

Now it is urging greater focus on supporting children and young people in rural areas who will be spending longer periods on their farm – and even being called upon to help if family, friends or neighbours are older, vulnerable or have contracted coronavirus.

Despite having to postpone its new virtual reality education programme until September, the FSF is continuing to deliver safety messages to children and young people and has written two new farm safety guides – one for agricultural students and one for parents.

These guides have been sent to all rural primary schools, land-based colleges/universities and national Young Farmers Clubs to be shared with their pupils, students and members.

The Farm Safety Foundation, or Yellow Wellies as many know them, was set up by rural insurer NFU Mutual, to preserve and protect the physical and mental wellbeing of the next generation of farmers and to challenge and change their attitudes to risk-taking.

The foundation will be using their social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - to share farm safety reminders over the coming weeks.

FSF manager Stephanie Berkeley said: “The fact is, with the closure of schools, there will be more children spending time on farm for longer periods than ever before and we thought it would be a good idea to put together a simple, easy to read booklet to remind everyone of the risks they will face on the farm every day.

"We don’t know how long this situation will last and our wonderful NHS workers are already feeling the strain of dealing with the spread of Covid-19.

"We need to take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of our loved ones and not risk any of us having a farm accident that will add to a workforce already under pressure. They are working hard to keep us safe so the least we can do is farm safe for them.”

For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation please visit