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Funding to help improve safety on Welsh farms

Pictured: Minister with Beca Glyn

A farmer who sustained serious injuries on her family farm has welcomed news the Welsh Government is providing £80,000 to help improve the safety of farmers, their families, and visitors to farms in Wales.

North Wales sheep and beef farmer Beca Glyn has first-hand experience of what can go wrong on a farm after sustaining serious injuries in a quad bike accident on her family farm in 2018.

The funding is being awarded to the Wales Farm Safety Partnership, a collaboration of key agricultural organisations helping to drive down the number of serious incidents and deaths on Welsh farms.

The £80,000 will be used to raise awareness of farm safety by attending events, working with schools and Wales YFC, as well as in a new children’s book on staying safe on farms.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths made the announcement on a visit to Richard Pilkington’s farm at Shordley Hall near Hope in Flintshire.

Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “Our farmers do a fantastic job, but we know the work they do can be dangerous too.

“We have sadly seen the stories of tragic incidents on farms in Wales and one incident is one too many.

“This funding will be important in raising awareness of the dangers on farms, helping farmers, their families and visitors to understand the risks and how to stay safe.”

Richard Pilkington at Shordley Hall, which is a 385-hectare dairy, arable and sheep farm, said: “It’s been great to welcome the Minister to Shordley Farm to show the important work which takes place here.

“Many farmers often work alone which can make working safely a real challenge. I’m pleased the funding being announced will help promote the importance of safety on farms across Wales.”

Beca Glyn, who is a newly appointed ambassador for the Wales Farm Safety Partnership, has been on a mission to raise the profile of farm safety and promote safe working practices since her incident.

Beca has joined fellow Ambassadors, experienced farmers Alun Elidyr Edwards and Glyn Davies, who were appointed in 2019 and have since worked tirelessly to promote best practice to farmers in Wales.

Beca Glyn, who farms at Ysbyty Ifan where her family run a flock of 1,000 sheep and herd of beef cattle, said: “I think it helps for farmers to listen to someone who has made a mistake and has had first hand personal experience of what can go wrong and the consequences of that.

“Working with Alun and Glyn, we want to spread the important message of how farmers can get better at making their farms safer places to work and live, and today’s announcement will help with this aim.”

She believes farm safety is moving in the right direction in Wales, but there is still more to be done.

Beca added: “We can all improve, whatever our farm or system, not only for our sakes but for our families and visitors to the farm like our vets.’’