It’s never too late to open your farm gates

  • Still plenty of time to sign up for LEAF Open Farm Sunday which takes place on 12 June 2022

With just over three weeks to go to LEAF Open Farm Sunday, the organisers are calling on farmers to welcome the public on to their farm this June to get the nation talking about British farming.

“There’s still plenty of time to organise an event on your farm this June,” said Manager of LEAF Open Farm Sunday, Annabel Shackleton.  “There is no denying the extraordinary positive impact that speaking to the public about farming, actually on a farm can have.”

“One farmer recently hosted a group of vegans, who bought cuts of beef from the farm shop before they left that afternoon! They said they were following a vegan diet for environmental reasons but having spent time on the farm and learning more about it, had a much greater understanding which had made them think differently.”

Much of UK food production aligns with today’s consumers’ values, particularly from an environmental and welfare perspective, says Mrs Shackleton. This is why she is encouraging farmers to cast aside any hesitation and make 2022 the year that they ‘dip a toe’ in to hosting the public on their farm this June, to illustrate the positive stories that influence the public’s conversations with their friends and ultimately all their buying decisions.

“Each event is different to suit the host farmer, grower or crofter, but what is common to all is that it gives the public a real insight into UK farming.  The latest event registration is for an invitation only farm tour in Cumbria for local councillors and their families, using an online ticketing service to manage numbers.”

Herefordshire arable farmer, Ally Hunter Blair, has had his concerns but says that the times that he hosted “were the two best days I’ve ever had on my farm”:

“I spent a lot of time worrying about what we were going to do, if people would come and what they would ask. My top tip for anyone considering taking part this year is to stop thinking about it and just do it”.

“I guarantee it will be the best day that you’ll have on your farm. Everyone knows my social media handle – if I am wrong, come and find me! Children just have the most amazing questions, you can’t help but think ‘wow, you’re so clever, I wouldn’t even think of that’.

“Don’t put yourself out of your comfort zone because that’s when you get stressed, and then you won’t enjoy it – there’s so much you can do, simply. I’d recommend doing what you want to do and start small if it’s your first event.”

Any farm can take part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday, on any date in June. You don’t need to be a member of LEAF.  The LOFS team are on hand to help you plan and prepare your event.