I am currently undertaking my project of surveying Scottish farmers/land users on their attitudes and interactions with beavers.
However, one major problem is that summertime is harvest season for the main crops in this area (wheat, barley, strawberries and raspberries) and with the added dimension of the coronavirus pandemic halting most events 2020 there has been a influx and boom of activity in farms dedicated to tourism/recreation (something we did not consider before arriving in Scotland) to catch up for lost time. Thus the majority of our sample are out preparing the fields or setting up events and are therefore not available for surveying!
Nonetheless, we have devised two strategies to get around this (fingers crossed).
Firstly, we have changed our working hours from 9-5 to 10:30/11-6:30/7 as land users and farmers are more likely to be finished with their day's work and therefore more likely to be at home.
Secondly, if there is the ability to contact the land users prior to arriving to the property we will do so to ensure that we do not arrive to empty properties and remove a property from our list to maximise our time out in the field.
Hopefully through implementing these two new tactics we will greatly bolster our survey response and hear some lovely rich and varied opinions!