On Sunday 27 June, the farming industry’s annual open day, Open Farm Sunday will return to celebrate its 15th event since the initiative was launched in 2006. At a time when food and farming has generated greater interest than ever before, organisers, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is calling on farmers to take part and help promote the British food and farming story.
The trend this year is for smaller events, with activities where visitors can manage their own learning, such as self-guided farm walks. Every farmer that takes part will decide on the type of event they would like to offer, for how long and for how many people.
There is also a greater emphasis on using a free ticketing system, such as TryBooking or Eventbrite, to record and manage visitor numbers with both systems offering an easy, automated solution. There is also flexibility on when events take place. Central promotion will focus on the 27 but farmers can choose any Sunday in June to open their gates and still benefit from the event’s branding and resources.
“LEAF Open Farm Sunday plays a vital role promoting British farming, dispelling myths and helping people to value the food they eat,” said event manager, Annabel Shackleton. “We are actively encouraging more smaller events this year. A simple farm walk for 30 people is both rewarding and manageable for all involved. We know there may be some nervousness around COVID and we want to ensure both host farmers, and visitors attending, feel safe and confident to go ahead. As theatres, cinemas and dining indoors reopens, remember transmission rates are significantly reduced outdoors. The farming stage – our wonderful countryside – is the perfect venue to safely welcome visitors.”
All farmers who register their event at www.farmsunday.org receive a comprehensive handbook and free resources. Farmers do not need to be members of LEAF to take part, but they do need to register their event.