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Footwear concerns put people off spending time outdoors, poll reveals

The Open Farm Sunday survey also found millennials were failing to combat stress by getting out into the countryside.

Half of people are put off spending time outdoors because it is often too cold and almost as many do not fancy the wet weather, a survey has found.

Almost a quarter (23%) are put off by muddy conditions, and one in 20 are worried they do not have the right outdoor clothing or footwear, the poll for Linking Environment and Farming’s (Leaf) Open Farm Sunday found.

Often cold and wet conditions are the biggest turn-offs, discouraging 51% and 45% of people respectively, while one in eight (12%) said they do not like insects or bugs.

A similar number (12%) were put off by the time and money they think it takes to get to the countryside, although most people are less than an hour away from rural areas, according to Leaf.

And almost a third (31%) are influenced by how “Instagrammable” or visually appealing an outdoor location is in deciding whether to visit, the poll found.

These results suggest that sadly many people are missing out on all that the countryside has to offer Annabel Shackleton, Leaf

The survey also suggests that millennials are missing out on the benefits for combating stress by getting outside, with 18 to 24-year-olds favouring watching TV or a film, eating junk food or scrolling through social media rather than visiting the countryside.

But the poll of 2,000 people by Mortar found that overall, including among young adults, the majority of people felt that a walk in the countryside relaxed them or helped them feel less stressed.

Research has found a positive link between people’s well-being and spending time outdoors being close to nature.

Annabel Shackleton from Leaf said: “These results suggest that sadly many people are missing out on all that the countryside has to offer.

“Visiting a farm on June 10 is an ideal opportunity to connect with the countryside and learn more about British farming.

People are being encouraged to visit farms for Open Farm Sunday (LEAF Open Farm Sunday/PA)

“We can’t promise that it won’t rain, and it’s likely that there will be some mud, but farmers will be doing all they can to welcome people onto their farms for a great day out.

“From guided nature walks to finding out about why worms, beetles and bees are so important, through to seeing science in action, or taking a tractor and trailer ride and admiring the view along the way.

“Each event is different, but each offers a fabulous opportunity to enjoy a day in the wonderful British countryside – whatever the weather.”

For more information about Open Farm Sunday events on Sunday June 10, people can visit

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