23 June 2021
"Growers' digging safer than ever"
THE number of searches by growers checking for underground pipes and cables before they dig has grown for the third year in a row, with a 63% increase, according to Digging up Britain 2021.
2020 was a big year for excavation work within the agriculture sector, likely as a result of the environmental stewardship grants currently available to farmers for tree planting and hedging, as well as for other projects such as buildings and resurfacing gateways and tracks.
The report by LSBUD, which provides a free online asset search facility, shows that there were 3,446 searches made through its portal last year for projects on agricultural land.
Managing Director at LSBUD, Richard Broome, said: “With so much additional activity taking place on agricultural land, it’s great to see that farmers are increasingly on board with the message to search before they dig. Even if they ‘know their fields like the back of their hands’, they are still favouring checking the location of pipes and cables crossing their land.”
It’s also likely that activity increased because of the incredibly wet autumn experienced in 2019, with many farmers looking at ways of sorting out their wet fields in 2020 by performing more ditching and drainage work.
According to Digging up Britain 2021, searches for deep agricultural groundworks increased by 166%. And searches for ditch works and field drainage increased by 55%. Other activities such as fencing and hedge planting and sub soiling, which is critical for land management, flood risk and food production, also prompted searches.
LSBUD collated the data by analysing the record 3,078,670 search enquiries that passed through its portal in 2020.