Canola crushed by Instagram tourists

York tourists stopping to take photos in the canola crop. Photo: Jenni Davies

Farming towns have been forced to act on a recent surge of tourists traveling to take photos among flourishing crops.

Shire of Northam president Chris Antonio said more and more people were coming to the area to take photos.

Grain Growers Unlimited marketing communications officer Daniel Reid said Instagram models presented a biosecurity issue as people trekked unknown substances through the fields.

“People can bring diseases or even weeds” he said.

“It’s fine to take a photo from a public road, it really just crosses the line when you go onto someone else’s property.

“If you had a nice rose bush in the back of your garden and people came into your backyard to have photos with it, how would most people feel about that?”

WA wheat belt town York, which is famous for its canola flowers during spring, experienced dozens of international tourists and Perth locals making the road trip there for the perfect Instagram shot.

Photo: Pixabay

York farming couple Kevin and Jenni Davies have seen examples of people driving through farmers’ crops, pushing prams through plants, knocking canola down and having photoshoots in it.

“I think that they’ve got to understand that it’s a person’s livelihood,” Ms Davies said.

“If they’re trampling through a paddock, that’s a loss to us”. 

Perth local Sereena Furse, who had made the drive to York with friends to get photos for Instagram, said: “You just think ‘well what’s the harm?’ It’s a big open field, you forget that it’s actually someone’s farm.”

Mr and Ms Davies have also expressed their concern for patrons who could be walking though crops that have been sprayed with harmful chemicals.

The York Shire has put up information on the local website and signage at popular locations to encourage visitors to come and enjoy the flowering crop, while protecting the public’s safety and farmers’ property.

“If you’ve got any doubt, check with the local farm you’re going onto or the local shire just to check if it’s alright,” Mr Antonio said.

“Or even check with the tourist bureau”.

Mr Reid advised visitors take these precautions before entering crop fields.

“When a farmer stumbles upon some people trespassing, it’s just not a good situation for anyone, whereas you can get a shot from the road or probably knock on their door and ask politely” said Mr Reid.

Categories: Agriculture