In a month of supermarket shortages, national lockdown, widespread anxiety and rising poverty, there has been a sudden realisation that the food supply chain is a fragile and precious thing.

The Country Trust is asking for nominations to showcase exceptional farmers to say thank you for their hard work and commitment during these challenging days.

Country Trust corporate fund-raiser, Beckie Grout, said: “Farmers are at the heart of our work as a national education charity and welcome nearly 20,000 children a year on to their farms for Country Trust Farm Discovery visits.

“We encourage children to say thank you to each farmer by writing and posting thank you letters – a chance for each child to share their excitement, joy and all that they’ve learnt in words and wonderful pictures.

“We can’t visit farms at the moment but we can say thank you and share some amazing stories with a different kind of ‘posting’ via our social media.”

The Country Trust is one of the charities supported by Tynedale Agricultural Society, which organises the Northumberland County Show.

Chairman, Robert Raine, explained: “With agriculture and education being fundamental to our own ethos, the Country Trust is a charity closely aligned to our principles. We are proud to support their work and appreciate their recognition of the dedication of farmers.”

The sentiment was echoed by chief executive, Jill Attenborough, who added: “I think the current crisis is making us think a little differently about food. We’ve gone shopping and expected the food to be there, whatever the weather, whatever the season, whatever the political situation. We never stop to think about how it gets there.

“Suddenly, the shelves are empty and it’s everyone’s concern – where is food coming from? Who grows it? What are they growing? How do they do it? We realise now, farmers are massively important to food security, even to life itself, as food sustains us.”

Farmers, such as Dennis Gibb from Eachwick Red House Farm, near Ponteland, are looking forward to seeing the return of school children to the farm.

If you know a farmer who deserves a big thank you, contact or via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @CountryTrust using the hashtag #thanksforfarmers.