Farming continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK – and the coronavirus closure of rural schools has set alarm bells ringing at the Farm Safety Foundation.

In an industry where two children were among the 39 people killed on farms last year, FFS said that the closure of schools required a clear focus on supporting those children and young people in rural areas who will be spending longer periods on their farm – and perhaps being called upon to help if family, friends or neighbours are older, vulnerable or have contracted coronavirus COVID-19.

FFS manager Stephanie Berkeley said: “Educational establishments do not just close and send students home without a good reason. And, with the increased threat of the spread of coronavirus the Government realises that this is no joke… and so should we!

“The fact is, with the closure of schools, there will be more children spending time on farm for longer periods than ever before. 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.”

FFS will continue to deliver safety messages to children and young people using their social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – over the coming weeks. For more information visit