Posted 5th Jun 2015
Open Farm Sunday was launched by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) in June 2006 to help people discover where their food comes from. Now in its 10th year, Open Farm Sunday is back this Sunday (7th June) with a wide variety of farms open to the public offering opportunities to talk to the farmers behind the crops and understand the story from field to plate
250 farms opened for the first Open Farm Sunday and welcomed a few thousand visitors. However, in recent years around 400 farms have opened annually for the event, and since Open Farm Sunday was first launched, over 1.25 million people have visited a farm on Open Farm Sunday. The event is now recognised as the farming industry’s national open day, and is supported by organisations across the farming and food industry.
Caroline Drummond, LEAF’s Chief Executive, explains why Open Farm Sunday is so important: 'We want to create an opportunity whereby everyone has the chance to visit a farm, so that they fully value farming and the food they eat. The success of Open Farm Sunday is due to the farming and food industry working together, alongside the hundreds of dedicated farmers and their helpers who put on events. Our vision is to continue to grow the reach and impact of Open Farm Sunday and our developing Open Farm School Days over the next 10 years so that more families and school children can visit a farm and discover what sustainable farming is all about.'
Jeremy Padfield, from Fosse Farm, Somerset, highlights the value of participating in Open Farm Sunday: 'We welcome visitors to our farm to show how we, as farmers, produce food we all enjoy every day and work hard to protect and enhance the countryside.'
'Our family like many others around the country take pride in the work that we do. We have embraced a balance of modern technology with the traditional and cultural farming methods that have been used for generations. Producing safe, affordable food is of paramount importance, as is protecting and enriching the habitats that wildlife can thrive in. Managing the environment on and around Fosse Farm is a big priority for my family and partly why we choose to be members of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming).'
What to see and do at Fosse Farm on Open Farm Sunday:
- Enjoy a tractor trailer ride around the farm or a guided nature walk.
- Enjoy the countryside and learn about the crops we grow, meet small farm animals and watch a sheep shearing demonstration, chat to vets, local wildlife groups, bee keepers and local food producers in a covered farmer’s market area.
- Watch modern and vintage farm machinery displays and, especially for the children this year, enjoy the inflatable Tractor Ted bouncy slide and forest school activities.
- Experience an educational, family fun day with a festival feel. Free admission. Delicious barbecue and cream teas.
- Opening hours on the day: Open Sunday 7th June 11am to 4pm.
- Please leave dogs at home due to livestock and wear suitable footwear.
Hollow Trees Farm in Suffolk will also be participating in Open Farm Sunday. Third generation farmer Sally says: 'Come and see for yourself how we care for the countryside and the wildlife that live here. We create habitats for a host of insects and birds, and have eight metre-wide field margins that are left largely uncut, which provide a valuable food source and habitat for wildlife. There are buffer zones around the ponds to protect frogs, newts, wild ducks and birds, and a mix of different winter seed mixes are planted to feed the birds in the winter months. We grow nectar and pollen rich plants in the summer to attract butterflies and bees.'
What to see and do at Hollow Trees Farm on Open Farm Sunday:
- Ride our famous Hollow Trees tractor and trailer around the farm.
- Visit our livestock barns and feed the farm animals.
- Fun activities for all the family.
- Visit our farm shop for fresh local produce.
Hollow Trees Farm Open Farm Sunday event will take place from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
Or why not visit North Bellshill Farm in Northumberland? The traditional mixed family farm is on the edge of the beautiful Northumberland National Park and has been farmed by the Renner family for over 400 years.
What to see and do at North Bellshill Farm on Open Farm Sunday:
- Walk through the farm, experience the wildlife and take a look at our farming practices.
- Visit the pond and go pond dipping.
- Experience the fantastic views of the countryside.
- Learn about the heritage of potatoes, and find out how to grow your own.
North Bellshill Farm’s Open Farm Sunday event will take place on 7th June from 10am to 4pm.
Or bring the family to Old Farm in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, to meet their sheep, cows and Glamrock pigs in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds countryside.
What to see and do at Old Farm on Open Farm Sunday:
- Go on a tractor and trailer ride, or take a walk and explore the farm.
- Experience a butchery and cookery demonstration.
- Have the chance to shear a sheep.
- Enjoy a pig roast alongside tea and cakes.
- Come and see where Nigel Slater and Adam Henson's Farm Kitchen was filmed.
Old Farm’s Open Farm Sunday event will take place on 7th June from 11am to 3pm.