Event in Norfolk inspired by Theresa May’s wheat field frolic sparks criticism from the National Farmers’ Union
PUBLISHED: 15:46 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:46 19 June 2017
(C) Archant Norfolk 2013
Anyone considering a naughty lope through Norfolk’s wheat fields as part of a mass event organised on social media has been urged to think twice.
Since ‘Running Through A Field Of Wheat’ was publicised on Facebook by the group Whats On?-Norwich, 29,000 people have indicated they are taking part and a further 59,000 have said they are interested in the event.
The idea for the dash was sparked by prime minister Theresa May’s pre-election revelation that the ‘naughtiest’ thing she had ever done was to run through a farmer’s wheat fields as a youngster.
But Brian Finnerty, a National Farmers’ Union spokesman for East Anglia, said that although the event seemed like a joke, he warned people against actually running through a wheat field.
Mr Finnerty said: “If it’s a spoof, it’s a spoof, but the danger is not everyone is going to get the joke and there will be some who will try to run through wheat fields, potentially damaging crops just when they are getting ready for harvest.
“These crops are being grown to produce income for farmers, and that goes onto to support the rural economy. And ultimately these crops are being grown to feed people.”
Mr Finnerty said he did not want to dissuade anyone from visiting rural Norfolk, but asked if they could do so respectfully.
He said: “If people want to come and enjoy the countryside, that’s fantastic. There are loads of public footpaths.
“But please keep to the public access areas and respect private property and treat farm fields as you would your own garden.
“It is a beautiful county and it’s also a very productive county in terms of agriculture and we want to keep it that way.”
No location has been given for the June 23-24 event, which is described on the Facebook page as: “Privatised the NHS recently? Come join us for a cheeky frolic through fields of wheat, the farmers will love it.”
Rónán O’Connor commented on the event: “I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Theresa May! No doubt she will turn up and not speak to any of us.”
Cuairi Ronnolly said: “I must say this is the naughtiest thing I have ever seen!
“I regret that I must inform the authorities of such treacherous actions.”