living and wandering in chester county

Sometimes you read things that just boggle your mind on social media. And today I saw something that I think needs to be discussed.

Chester County has a rich agricultural and equine history. Given the rampant development from one end of the county to the other, sometimes we forget that. And we can’t.

I have friends who have farms. I have friends who have horses. I have neighbors who have horses and other critters. It’s one of my favorite things about living out here because I love horses and when I was a kid I used to ride. And I will take photos. But I never trespass.

If an owner of a farm or a property invites me to be physically on the property, then I will visit. But I don’t go driving up their driveways or visiting with their animals without permission . When it comes to horses and farm animals they are valuable and these are people’s property as well as their pets. 

This afternoon I saw something which should surprise me but doesn’t.

The other end of Morstein is very developed, so no horses. Kids like animals and I think that’s awesome.

But these farms, the ones that remain, they aren’t petting zoos. And all the comments that followed this post being left is what blew my mind versus the actual request. There were people actually encouraging this person to just drive up this farm’s driveway. As in just trespass.

You can’t do that. You need permission. There are all sorts of things involved here including liability. And trespassing. These animals are valuable. What if you spooked one? Or opened fences meant to remain closed and they got out? What if all of the animals aren’t kid friendly or stranger friendly?

I have run into these situations before as I have another friend who actually has had “photographers” doing photo shoots on her property without permission. Photo shoots of entire families who were complete strangers to my friends. These people would drive up park on their property and stage these photo shoots in front of their fields and barn.

Now if you’re doing a scenic drive through Chester County and you stop and take a photo from the road of a barn or animals or trees or fields, you are not trespassing you’re driving through. No one minds that kind of appreciation.

I have another friend who has a small farm who told me today that they have discovered people parking and hanging out in their back fields before who are total strangers. These people didn’t ask permission and that’s not OK.

I also know other people with working farms that run into this problem all the time. 

I realize there are a lot of people out there that probably just don’t get that this isn’t OK. A lot of these people have limited experience with farms, and the animals found on them.

That is not to say I am Farmer in the Dell, because I am obviously not. But we have to respect these people, their properties and animals, and utilize common sense.

Would you like to find some strange person in your driveway just wandering around? I’m thinking the answer to that is no. So please don’t encourage people to do that with regard to these farms.

It’s because of situations like this where people just stop and think they can wander around a farm that you see a lot of farms today with a lot of no trespassing signs. Far more than you ever saw in the past.

The other point to ponder is if people love farms and farm critters do much, why so many plastic mushroom developments?

But please… don’t wander onto farms without prior permission. It’s really not OK.

Thanks and happy Sunday!