Harrogate district farmers warned of campsite risks


Last updated Aug 3, 2021

Harrogate district farmers thinking of opening up their farms to campers have been warned of a “risk minefield”.

Planning regulations now allow farmers in England to operate a campsite without planning permission up to 56 days – double the usual 28-day limit.

It was extended by the government to bolster farmers’ income and encourage domestic holidays as foreign travel continues to be disrupted due to covid.

However, farms can be dangerous places with 34 deaths occurring in England during 2020/21, a 62% rise on the previous year.

Matt McWhirter, of rural insurance broker Lycetts, said many farmers are unaware of the risks involved when they decide to diversify their business.

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He said:

“Insurers may have strict conditions on such things as hygiene facilities, health and safety assessments, fire risk assessments and site access, and also impose restrictions on what the policy will cover, so farmers could be left exposed to gaps in protection.

“Farmers may not be aware that they need to inform their insurer of their intentions before they set up camp, as they could be in breach of their farm insurance policy. They need to tread carefully as they face a risk minefield.”

Mr McWhirter said farmers should also clearly mark the areas where public access is permitted and where it is forbidden, such as where livestock or machinery is held.

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