Tel: 01636 555033
We've Got Newark and Sherwood Covered


Students get real about farm safety with Yellow Wellies

Posted onPosted on 5th Mar
Students get real about farm safety with Yellow Wellies

Farming students are being given a virtual reality introduction to farm safety training at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst Campus near Southwell thanks to the Farm Safety Foundation.

Farming is important to the UK economy and the conservation of our beautiful countryside. It is also an industry where many farmers work alone, against time pressures and encounter a variety of risks. In a matter of seconds, a farm accident can change the lives of a farming family and community forever.

Farming continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK however award-winning charity, the Farm Safety Foundation has been working to encourage young farmers aged between 16 and 40 to think about their physical and mental wellbeing in the hope that the number of accidents, whether major or minor, decrease and lives are saved.

The Farm Safety Foundation, or Yellow Wellies as many know them, was set up by rural insurer NFU Mutual, to raise awareness of farm safety among the next generation of farmers, challenge and change their attitudes to risk-taking and reduce the number of life changing and life ending incidents that continue to give farming the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK.

Since 2015, the charity has delivered its unique Introduction to Farm Safety training to over 10,000 agricultural students and young farmers at 41 different land-based colleges and universities throughout the UK and through the Young Farmers Clubs network.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, this impactful education programme has been given a major tech refresh for the new decade and they have made a return to Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) Brackenhust Campus.

The Foundation’s 2020 education programme will introduce ground-breaking technology in the shape of Virtual Reality (VR) which will allow the charity to continue to pioneer unique, innovative & engaging farm safety training for agricultural students throughout the UK.

According to Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Foundation; “Vocational training will really begin to feel the impact of virtual and augmented reality over the next few years and we are delighted to be pioneering this for the next generation of farmers at NTU Brackenhurst Campus. The ability to experience any training in 360 is invaluable and memorable – so to deliver training that may save lives and limbs in the future makes it even more important.

“Imagine these students viewing a working farm and its real risks from all angles without even leaving the classroom… We are very privileged to have this opportunity to influence the next generation of farmers and start to nudge better behaviours in an industry with the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK. This is something we take very seriously.

Commenting on the training, Stephen Booth from NTU Brackenhurst Campus, said: “This has become one of the key calendar dates in the academic year for our students. As a college, we are committed to ensuring our students take their physical and mental health very seriously and are here to support them every step of the way.”

“Students and young farmers are such an important target group for farm safety messages as they are the future of the industry. As technology advances within farming, the risk of accidents can actually increase. While the safety of machinery and equipment has improved, the fact that machines can do so much more can make people complacent.

“It’s great to have an outside organisation like the Farm Safety Foundation reinforce the importance we place on farm safety and for our students to face scenarios they could come across on their own farms when they go home or in their future workplace.”

Stephanie continued: “We know that young people learn in different ways and we believe in championing alternative learning methods and the value of life skills, as a way of engaging young farmers and equipping them for their chosen career. For a generation raised on interactive technologies, bringing VR into learning can help encourage active engagement and contribute to delivering the farm safety message.

“Education is the key to driving good behaviours in the industry and we wanted to challenge the assumption that Health and Safety training is boring and make our session more active for those participating. Thanks to our funder NFU Mutual and this contribution from The National Lottery Community Fund we are able to do this”.

For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation please visit