Plans to scrap free guided walks in the Lake District because they failed to attract enough ethnic minorities provoked a national outcry a few months ago.
The National Lottery decided to withdraw its £ 40,000- a- year funding, claiming the ramblers were "too white and too middle class".
Those hosting the walks won a temporary reprieve when outdoor clothing firm Hawkshead stepped in and agreed to fund the project for a further 12 months.
The need to lure ethnic minorities into the countryside has prompted numerous studies, surveys and projects by Government bodies and rural organisations keen to find out why the rural idyll is still seen only as an attraction for the white middle class.
And, with major reforms on their hands, farmers are also beginning to see the advantage of packing as many visitors into the countryside as they can to spend their money and see how the other half live.
With farming subsidies no longer linked to production, many will be looking to diversify and rely on tourism as an income.
"The worrying thing with changing farming practices, and losing the need for production, is we are going to have to look at how to make the countryside more sustainable.
"A way to do that is to get people accessing it and spending money in the local villages," James Marshall, of the Countryside Agency, explained.
The agency recently published its own findings on ethnic minorities accessing the countryside.
It found that they regarded rural dwellers as older, wealthier, more traditional and more conservative than city people.
Rural people wanted to preserve their way of life and were more resistant to change than city dwellers, according to two reports - costing £360,000 - which were commissioned as a result of a 2000 White Paper that committed the Government to " increasing and diversifying enjoyment of the countryside".
An Indian woman, living in London, told researchers: "I think people in the countryside are quite rude to outsiders. Within their community they can be really friendly and really nice, but when it comes to those from outside they can be not so nice.
"I don't think they are hostile. They're set in their own little ways and they don't want their life to be disturbed."
The lack of contact between rural white communities and urban ethnic minorities was thought to result in racial stereotyping, mutual distrust and, in some cases, "plain racism'', according to the report.
"They are all white. So immigrants, when we go, we feel we are intruding,'' said a Pakistani man living in London.
Mr Marshall said people from ethnic minority backgrounds did not feel comfortable in the countryside.
"It is down to confidence. There are certain places you go where you don't feel comfortable. Perhaps their knowledge isn't good enough or they can't read a map.
"We are not here to tell people what to do. What we are trying to do is show people they are all paying for these facilities in the countryside and having made that payment they should go out and have a look at it.
"It is fantastic the NFU is doing this. They would be the first to admit they have not always been as willing as we would like them to have been."
Michael Oakes, a dairy farmer from Rubery on the urban fringe of Birmingham, said it was vital consumers could find out about producers on their doorstep.
"The picnic has the dual purpose of promoting the countryside as a visitor destination to communities that under-use its assets and enabling representatives of rural organisations to get closer to the consumer," he said.
"The feedback about the picnic from the Sikh and Muslim communities has been really positive."