02 February 2022
LEAF offers host packs and support to June participants
ORGANISERS of the farming industry’s annual open day, Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) are calling on growers to take part and organise their own event to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to sustainability, biodiversity, climate mitigation, nutritious food and a well-managed countryside.
Taking place on Sunday, June 12th 2022, the event is an opportunity for every farmer to plan their own event, engage their local community, share their growing story and dispel misconceptions.
More than 100 events took place in 2021, under Covid-safe guidelines, and prior to the pandemic more than 350 farms across Britain, covering all agricultural sectors, opened each year.
LEAF Open Farm Sunday Manager Annabel Shackleton said: “Last year we launched our new 10-year strategy at LEAF, with a commitment to driving more sustainable circular agriculture through climate, nature, the economy and society. In addition, COP26, and the recent National Food Strategy has drawn attention to the impact of farming and food production on climate change. Whilst we have the public’s attention, it is more important than ever that we feed their enthusiasm and interest.
“LEAF Open Farm Sunday is the perfect way for visitors to really understand what best practice looks like and how farmers and the food sector are part of the solution, delivering for our health and the health of the planet - through the food we eat and the fresh air and countryside that we enjoy.”
A range of free resources are available from LEAF and LOFS sponsors to support host farmers, including a host farmers’ handbook, activity crib sheets and template guides, for risk assessments and writing a press release, plus guidance on using an online ticketing service to manage visitor numbers.
In addition, a series of interactive online Zoom meetings for farmers wanting to find out more about hosting an event this June, are being held on the first Thursday of each month. Hosted by the team of experienced LEAF Open Farm Sunday Ambassadors, topics cover:
• February 3rd – Planning and marketing your LOFS event
• March 3rd – Managing visitor numbers, including ticketing
• April 7th – Promoting your event and making use of LOFS free resources
• May 5th – Final words of wisdom!
Annabel’s LOFS top tip is to keep it simple, planning the day based on what you have on farm. She said: LEAF Open Farm Sunday is YOUR event, YOUR story and YOUR chance to share it with the wider public. Concentrate on what you feel comfortable sharing - you don’t need to talk about every enterprise in the UK, nor open your whole farm. You have full control to manage what visitors see, how long you run your event for and who you invite. Some hosts hold a private event for a local group, whilst others are much more public.
Farmers do not need to be members of LEAF to take part, but they do need to register their event at www.farmsunday.org, where they can also access an information pack and book to attend the Zoom meetings.