Star comment: Farmers have a growing role in rural tourism
Farmers are true rural entrepreneurs. Through necessity, they are continually broadening their horizons and looking at new ways to generate an income.
The processes in which they engage benefit not only the rural economy but those of us living in nearby towns and cities as well. Farms generate employment, income, and wealth, while also ensuring the careful custodianship of the landscape that all of us enjoy.
Today we look at how farmers are increasingly looking to tourism or recreation to supplement their income. They are converting buildings for accommodation, looking to offer services and attractions, and trying to reach out to those who want to escape to the country.
The West Midlands may be a metropolis, but it is surrounded by beautiful countryside on all sides - in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire. Those four counties vary dramatically and offer a different experience for visitors, yet all are joined in offering wonderful open spaces that can be enjoyed by people who want to get away from it all.
We are fortunate that there are now countless options within a short drive, from petting zoos and farm shops to llama walking and glamping.
These attractions offer us all a great day out or short break and also ensure that we are doing our bit to help sustain the vital rural economy. While the cost of living continues to bite, those with a little spare income can make choices when it comes to leisure time. Spending locally benefits us all as it keeps money in circulation in our region and helps to support the people who are the custodians of our landscape and play a vital role in the local economy.
It’s hard for us to now imagine the terror that residents in Bridgnorth would have felt when the town was subjected to a blitz by Nazi bombers.
Hitler’s airmen targeted Bridgnorth in their failed conquest of Europe, causing devastation.
A feature today talks about the impact of a raid on Bridgnorth and its lasting impact on the town and its people.
It is a powerful feature and one that is worth reading, if only to understand the consequences of war and the damage that was caused to towns and cities that were in the firing line of the German blitz.
We take peace for granted, but it is worth being reminded every now and again that war is a gruesome business.
The people of Ukraine are experiencing a similar bombardment and we focus on their invaders being repelled.