Watchers of Countryfile may be forgiven for having a rosy view of rural living and the farming way of life.
The programme’s popularity means that far more people than ever before are learning the facts about where their food comes from. They also see just who is responsible for maintaining the countryside for everyone to enjoy. It’s all brilliant publicity for the farming industry.
Perhaps what is less clear is just how isolated much of rural life is, and under what stresses producers of food operate. Imbalances in the supply chain often leave producers financially vulnerable. The weather plays havoc with planning. The government piles on more legislation. So it goes on.
For 12 years the Lincolnshire Rural Support Network has provided listening ears for anyone who wishes to talk to them. Those ears are attached to people who are from within the farming industry, who have an understanding of the stresses.
In most years, around 8,090 farming families are helped through problems which may be financial, tenancy issues and succession, illness, or of a personal or family nature.
But it’s not just listening. LRSN is prepared to walk with families and individuals for as long as it takes.
Contact can be made via the LRSN Helpline on 0845 1232306, or via the website at www.lrsn.co.uk
• David Creasey is vice-chairman of Lincolnshire Rural Support Network (LRSN), which has a Wednesday drop-in service at Spalding Bulb Auction for all workers in the agricultural industry or the wider rural community. Tomorrow, there will be complimentary hot drinks and mince pies for visitors.