Rude Walkers

June 2007

We are farmers on a beautiful farm on the Worcester/Hereford border. We have quite a few walkers coming through at the moment and many of them are quite happy to walk through our yard without even saying hello.

It really is so unbelievably rude.

On many occassions I am tempted to ask their address so that my husband and I can come along and walk around their gardens whilst ignoring them completely.

This has only started happening in the last 10 years so please acknowledge farmers and don't treat them like dirt - they work damn hard to keep the countryside looking this good!

Sandra Morton, Worcester


“There are many interesting points above, both from the farmers' and from the walkers' perspective. I always say hello to fellow walkers who mostly respond in kind, although some give no response at all. I have found farmers in general OK, although sometimes the fields, farmyards etc. can be confusing to walk through. There is always the fear that a fierce unchained dog or a bull may suddenly appear from nowhere. If I am absolutely lost in a farm area and have to go through it (otherwise lose a lot of time in going back), my tactic is to knock on the door (if I can't see anybody about) and be VERY apologetic, along the lines of "I'm very sorry if I appear to be trespassing, I haven't done it on purpose, but I am completely lost". This usually gets them on my side, and they tend to be helpful in the majority of cases.”

David Dawber, Lytham St Annes


“Maybe we've been lucky with the farmers we've met when walking through farms, but our presence has always been acknowledged even if only by a cursory wave as we pass through. Likewise we would never ignore farm workers when we see them. Again it may be nothing more than a wave of acknowledgement but we always indicate in some way. True some farmers are more outgoing than others, but I've been ignored by far more walkers than farmers! Speak to some walkers in passing and they look at you as if they've just trodden in something unpleasant.”

Keith Taylor, Gloucester


“walkers are often wary of the response they will get from farmers when crossing their land. Recently walking in North Wales we had to pass through a farmers yard, the owner gathered his two dogs and put them inside his house. He invited us into his yard and helped to guide us on our way by looking at our map. After leaving his land we then got lost because the farmer of the land behind had made it as difficult as possible for somebody to pass through. The land was overgrown, styals were feet deep in nettles and there were no signosts.”

Andrea Healy, Rochdale


“We ALWAYS say hello or mornin or afternoon when we meet farmers/landowners/walkers/etc wherever we are. Indeed we have been involved with lambing/rounding up farmstock/opening gates/chicken chasing/cake tasting on numerous occassions. We don't always get a reasonable reply but a little politeness/freindliness goes a long way. In both directions! Lets start a 'Be Kind To Farmers AND Walkers Campain'”

Barry Smith, Manchester


“I walk all over the uk crossing many farms but i have never got so much as a hello from any farmer, i actually do not like crossing peoples land especially through farm yards as i feel i am intruding and would rather not do so, but so many trails seem to go that way, maybe people do not say hello because they are shocked to hear the greeting, if I am over your way and I see a smile with a hello i would be more than happy to reply in the same manner, it would make me feel more comfortable crossing your land and why be so miserable.”

Darren Carswell, Droitwich/worcestershire


“When walking through farm building areas some farmers are not as welcoming, occasionaly very rude. Having removed(?) any waymarks they then grumble that you shouldn't be there. Some walkers don't reply to a greeting on a footpath.”

David Parry, Ches


“I would like apologise to Sandra Morton on behalf of all walkers who, like our family, are just so grateful that we are allowed to walk on footpaths crossing their property. I think it is sad that people do seem to have become more insular. We live in London and find that even other walkers do not acknowledge you until you are really in the depths of the countryside. Unfortunately we seldom venture further than Hertfordshire/Berkshire and the Cotswolds otherwise we would be more than happy to say hello to Sandra Valerie Leaver”

Valerie Leaver, London


“hi sandra,get up north lass much more friendly lot we are,always say hello even to some of the grumpy dales farmers,nearly made one smile once,keep talking steve:)”

Steve, Pontefract


“Sandra, I know that a number of walkers already feel like they are intruding on farmers/landowners when making their way across certain stretches of land. They may feel that talking to you may be a further intrusion which you might not welcome. On the other hand I'm sure that a nod and a "Good Morning" wouldn't kill them nor cause you too much distraction. I would also add, though, that some farmers are not as friendly as yourselves, and clearly resent having to allow walkers access across their land”

Fraser Hale, Ipswich


“In response to the message by Sandra Morton. Firstly appologies on behalf of all non rude walkers. However to put it in perspective; from my experience there are also many farmers that just scowl (or worse) at walkers that follow public footpaths that cross their land and therefore many are embarrassed to speak incase they get a "mouthful". I will of course say hello if I ever pass through your farm. Regards, Kevin”

Kevin Timmis, Folkestone


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