Farmers Strengthen the UK’s Safe Digging Community


The UK’s safe digging community, which now firmly includes farmers, has never been stronger, with 84 percent of all projects now preceded by a search for underground pipes and cables, according to Digging up Britain 2022.

The annual safe digging report by LSBUD reveals that a record-breaking 3.4 million search enquiries passed through its collaborative portal in 2021, equating to a search being placed every six seconds.

Richard Broome, MD at LSBUD, comments: “It is great to see so many searches being made. In 2021, we witnessed an overall ten percent increase on the previous year, which clearly shows that safe digging practices are more resolutely on the agenda than ever before. What’s particularly exciting to see is the increasing awareness among high risk groups, such as farmers, of the need to search before they dig.”  


Agricultural works saw an even more substantial increase over the year, with the total number of searches increasing from 3,446 to 6,067 – a massive 76% boost.

These searches precede all sorts of agricultural activity, such as replacing fences and hedge planting, tree planting, ditching and drainage work, as well as projects like upgrading farm buildings and resurfacing gateways and tracks. Other activities included farm diversification such as solar farm projects. 

The Digging up Britain data shows that searching on LSBUD’s portal before digging has become a habit. Richard concludes: “Safe digging has become a common practice amongst farmers which is great to see. This is significant because the volume of digging work across the UK is set to boom in 2022 and beyond with a continued focus on farm diversification. The more farmers that search before they dig now, the safer we stay as a nation, even when more works are taking place. Remember, search before you dig.”

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