National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

10 October 2013

Suggested measures to improve young driver safety could include night time driving curfews and a ban for novice drivers on carrying passengers under 30 years old.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a report it commissioned from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) that shows the urgent need to tackle young driver safety.

The report 'Novice drivers: Evidence Review and Evaluation’ suggests that implementing a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, similar to those in other countries, could result in thousands fewer casualties and save up to £447 million per year.

According to the research, there could be almost 9000 fewer deaths and serious injuries on UK roads every year if changes were made to the way young people learn to drive.

The research recommends the GDL include the following:

  • A 12-month learner stage, beginning at age 17 ( requirement for at least 100 hours of daytime and 20 hours of night time supervised practice, with mandatory log book)
  • After passing driving tests, there would be a 12 month probationary licence from the age of 18 – during this period, drivers would need to display a green P plate.
  • During the 12 month probation, drivers will be subject to a night time driving curfew between 10pm and 5am, unless accompanied by a passenger aged over 30.
  • Novice drivers under 30 years old would also be banned from carrying passengers under 30 years old.

While the NFYFC supports the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licence, NFYFC Chairman Milly Wastie recently met with the Road Safety Minister and the Department for Transport to highlight how the restrictions would impact on rural young people. Milly was invited to talk about the issues after working on NFYFC’s Drive it Home campaign.

Members working in agriculture could be affected by the curfew – especially during peak seasons when working late nights and early mornings on farms is compulsory. For example, dairy farmers have to be at work from 4am or 5am all year round.

Milly Wastie, National Chairman of Council for NFYFC, said:

“While we support the introduction of measures such as a Graduated Driver Licence, we ask that in the preparation of the Green paper into young driver safety, consideration is given to young people living in isolated rural areas.

“Due to a lack of public transport, rural young people rely on a car to get to their place of education or work. For those with jobs in agriculture, especially during peak seasons such as harvest, they may often be required to work outside of the suggested curfew times of 10pm-5am. 

“With youth unemployment already at an all time low, we ask Government and local communities to ensure that our rural youth are not unfairly penalised by these new measures and that solutions are found for safe, night time transportation.”

The Government's research backs up the findings of research carried out by Road Safety Analysis earlier this year in support of the Drive it Home campaign.

To read a summary of the latest TRL research and recommendations click here.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Let us know your views – email

02 October 2013

A respected figure in the world of professional floristry claims Young Farmers are flying the flag for competitions in Floral Arts after more than 100 people entered an event at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show.

Lynda Owen, author of three books on flower arranging and an award-winning florist, judged the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ Floral Arts competition on Sunday 29 September with two other judges. All three were “blown away” by the standard of entries from Young Farmers at this year’s show.

Lynda said: “We judge professional florists and some of this is equal to professional floristry. Every year seems to get better and the juniors are absolutely fabulous. Young Farmers are fabulous and their work is inspiring.”

The competition included three categories for different age ranges. In the 16 and under category, entrants were asked to create a table arrangement to the theme of Best of British Farming.

Anna Hunt from Woburn YFC (pictured right) in Bedfordshire was the winner with her innovative design that used a mixture of roses, Chrysanthemums, Lisianthus, corn and vegetables.

Anna said:  “I’m really proud as this is my first national competition. I had tips from my cousins who have been through Young Farmer competitions. I will carry on entering competitions now.”

For 20-year-old Fay Thomas (below left), it was the eighth time she had made it to the national finals for Floral Arts. In the 21 and under category she was required to create a floor standing exhibit reflecting the same theme of Best of British Farming.

Fay’s arrangement, made from orange roses and large sunflowers, was positioned on top of a tall black frame that her dad had welded with a piece of driftwood in the centre.

“As it was a farming theme, I quite liked the orange arrangement and autumn colours. It is fantastic to finally win it after eight years of competing. My advice is to keep going and don’t give up. Take on board what the judges tell you,” said Fay from Eardisley YFC in Herefordshire.

Florist Jacalyn Dobson (right), who is 23 years old and a member of Yarcombe YFC was the winner of the 26 and under competition with her hand tied presentation bouquet.

Jacalyn had never entered a YFC competition before, despite being a member of Young Farmers since she was 14 years old. The bouquet she created was packed with English country cut flowers, such as traditional Chrysanthemums, and also included Brassica, blackberries and other British fruits and vegetables.

“Young Farmers is a really good opportunity to get out and do something different.The competition has given me the confidence to enter something bigger and I’m going to enter the floral art heats for Chelsea florist of the year!” Jacalyn said.
For a full list of results click here to see how well your county did in the national finals and click here to see photos from the competition.


Designed by Kevyn Williams