LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is calling on farmers to open their gates for Open Farm Sunday on 9th June to help showcase British farming. As well as being on the media agenda, public interest in where their food comes from is at an all-time high, so there has never been a better or more relevant time to take part in Open Farm Sunday.
Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday Manager, LEAF said: Open Farm Sunday is the single most supported day in the farming calendar and the theme this year is Discover the story behind your food. Wed like to see as many farmers as possible get involved, either by opening your farm or by working with neighbouring farmers to host a joint event. Whether you organize a simple farm walk or a full open afternoon, collectively all the events taking part have a huge positive impact and help build public trust and understanding in food and farming.
Registrations for Open Farm Sunday are open now at www.farmsunday.organd nearly 200 farms have registered to date. To allow new and existing Open Farm Sunday hosts to meet and share advice and top tips, LEAF are hosting a series of free Information Events in April, which are run by a team of regional co-ordinators. Events are taking place at:
Mon 15th April: Stirling Caledonian Mart, Stirling, Scotland
Tues 16th April: Carr House Farm, Foston on the Wolds, Yorks
Tues 16th April: Morley Farms, Wymondham, Norfolk
Weds 17th April: Woodland Farm, Sturton Le Steeple, Notts
Weds 17th April: Amelia Trust Farm, Barry, Wales
Thurs 18th April: Manor House Farm, Baucott, Shrops
Thurs 18th April: Romshed Farm, Underriver, Kent
Mon 22nd April: Farnless Farm, Bishop Middleham, County Durham
Tues 23rd April: New Laund Farm, Whitewell, Lancs
Weds 24th April: Broughton Grounds, North Newington, Oxon
Thurs 25th April, Frogmary Green Farm, South Petherton, Somerset
Annabel added Whether you are planning an invitation-only event for 20 or so guests, or a large open day for over 1,000 visitors, every event matters. Open Farm Sunday is a valuable day for visitors and farmers alike. There is so much to celebrate about British farming. As well as offering a chance to tell your story, our research shows that many farmers report real business benefits from opening. These can include: sharing knowledge; increased sales; improved staff morale; team building, and the development of new skills.
Farmers are urged to register their event as early as possible to take advantage of the extensive range of FREE resources available to help put on interesting and engaging events, as well as collateral for promoting them. First time hosts can also be connected to an Open Farm Sunday buddy who can advise and support them on a one to one basis. This is all available free of charge to farmers thanks to the generous support from Asda, AHDB, Country Life butter, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Marks and Spencer, National Farmers Union, Syngenta and Waitrose.
Open Farm Sunday will once again be supported by a national and regional integrated PR campaign to encourage visitors onto farms across the country.