This time of year our countryside takes on a golden and amber glow as autumn makes itself very much felt, writes FUW Brecon and Radnor Executive Officer Kath Shaw.

The clocks are about to go back, Halloween pumpkins have been carved and bonfire night is on the horizon. There are many things worth celebrating in autumn and food always plays a big part in making us feel good. We crave those comfort foods and Welsh beef and lamb, as well as our pork, are of course right up there in ticking all those boxes. Let’s not forget about our dairy produce either - who doesn’t enjoy a hot chocolate when it’s getting cold or a deep filled cheese toasty?

However, this time of year also brings a few issues with it for our farming community, pets and livestock. Fireworks unfortunately still present a big problem for us and thousands of animals suffer every year as a result of fireworks being let off. With this in mind, we’d like to remind the public about the responsible use of fireworks and to ask them to follow the fireworks code at all times. It is a welfare issue for animals and also a health and safety issue for people.

The laws concerning fireworks state that it is illegal for anyone under 18 to possess a firework in a public place and they cannot be set off by a private individual between 11.00pm and 7.00am except for certain nights of the year. It should go without saying that it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal. Also worth remembering is that you can be fined an unlimited amount and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

For those of us with pets such as cats and dogs, it’s safest to keep them indoors on bonfire night and it is recommended that they’re walked early in the day before the fireworks start. It’s also worth making sure that your pets are microchipped and the details are up to date. Please don’t buy fireworks from unlicensed retailers and keep them in a closed box. Other advice to follow to ensure you and your loved ones are safe includes never putting fireworks in your pocket, being considerate and letting your neighbours know if you will be having a display, especially if they are elderly or they have pets or children.

The Fireworks code also asks people to avoid setting fireworks off late at night, particularly if it is a school-night, to carefully follow the instructions on each firework and also never to go back to a lit firework unless the instructions advise otherwise.

Enjoy this glorious season but please be safe!