19 January 2021
'Time to think about farm openings'
UK GROWERS are being urged to start thinking about how they can host visitors on-farm in June which will be the 15th anniversary LEAF Open Farm Sunday, the industry's annual open day.
LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), organiser of LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS), has announced a year-round programme of public engagement activities in addition to the June 13th date, when a number of on-farm events are held, which has historically attracted more than a quarter of a million farm visitors across the UK each year
Following last year’s success, two ‘online’ farm open days will take place this Spring and Autumn, alongside a programme of monthly live broadcasts running throughout the year. All these activities will promote a greater understanding of the different aspects of agriculture such as productive soils, clean water and air, public access and enhancing biodiversity.
“One of the unexpected positives to emerge from the challenges of ‘lockdown’ has been the surge in interest in the countryside, nature and buying fresh produce, and we have seen a higher following than ever on our LOFS digital channels,” said LOFS Manager Annabel Shackleton. “This is the perfect moment to capture the public’s curiosity and build our outreach to benefit the whole industry.”
While awaiting clarity on Covid regulations on public gatherings and events, Mrs Shackleton is urging growers to start thinking about how they can take part in the June event.
“As visitor numbers for events may be limited, we would love to see a greater number of farms opening their gates but for smaller groups, so that social distancing can be followed. We’re encouraging host farmers to think about how to maximise outdoor spaces. It could be a farm walk, a scavenger hunt or a short show-and-tell in the yard. It may also be an opportunity to collaborate with other food producers to provide a place for people to buy and try new local foods.
“Farmers have some important topical messages to share about quality food production, caring for the countryside, plus the economic and environmental benefits of buying British – and we want to help facilitate these conversations.”
To find out more and to register to host LEAF Open Farm Sunday in June 2021, visit our events page here.
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