Opinion: Farmers should open up their empty winter fields to the public?
Three thoughts, one idea.
(1) In the new year, people often think about holidays and flick through travel brochures, dreaming of far-off places, romance, adventure, escape. But, while we may travel all round the world to see the sights, most of us have probably never set foot on most of the land around us.
While farmers know every inch of every curve on their own farm, the only time they may have ever been on a neighbour's patch is in pursuit of a straying beast. On such trips, sightseeing is probably not top priority.
It is very rare nowadays for anyone to just strike off across another's land.
(2) Once upon a time, I used to hunt. I loved the unpredictability of the chase, especially crossing fresh land and coming across a fort, unexpected big ditch, stretch of crag or bog, or an odd shaped tree. Not to mention bridges and other elements of the built landscape.
The perspective we have on the natural world is mainly what we get from passing by in a car. Actually being there in person is a very different, richer, experience.
(3) Driving around the countryside now, the prevalence of cattle sheds is striking. The logical conclusion of this is that, if the cattle are in the sheds, they are not in the fields. So the fields are mostly empty.
So to my idea.