LEAF Open Farm Sunday connects communities with British farming and food

Over 250 farmers welcomed the public onto their farms for this year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS) to shine a spotlight on the British farming industry and all it delivers.

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Connecting communities with British farming and food!

This year, farm­ers wel­comed over 170,000 peo­ple onto farms across Britain on Sun­day 11th June. Every event was unique, show­cas­ing the whole indus­try, from arable, hor­ti­cul­ture, live­stock and agro-forestry to the sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy involved. Farmers shared the same aim of help­ing to bridge the farm and fork dis­con­nect and to demon­strate the industry’s com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­i­ty, bio­di­ver­si­ty and deliv­er­ing nutri­tious food and a well-man­aged countryside.

Vis­it­ing a work­ing farm pro­vid­ed a bril­liant oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple to talk direct­ly with the farm­ers that pro­duce our food, and under­stand what is involved in sus­tain­able food pro­duc­tion, a top­ic that is at the fore­front of many households.

LEAF Hon­orary Pres­i­dent, Her Roy­al High­ness The Duchess of Edin­burgh vis­it­ed the LOFS event at Hamp­ton Estate Farms in Sur­rey. Dur­ing her tour she saw first-hand what farm­ing deliv­ers and met some inspi­ra­tional young peo­ple to hear about how they are forg­ing their careers in the sec­tor. Defra Sec­re­tary of State, The Rt Hon Thérèse Cof­fey MP sup­port­ed by thank­ing all farm­ers open­ing their gates via social media. We were pleased to wel­come Shad­ow Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Daniel Zeich­n­er MP, who vis­it­ed MHS Farms in Cambridgeshire.

Annabel Shack­le­ton, LOFS man­ag­er said:

“At a time when the pub­lic is more aware than ever of the val­ue of their food — in terms of food secu­ri­ty and how much it costs, farming’s annu­al open day is so impor­tant. It offers a fan­tas­tic oppor­tu­ni­ty for the whole indus­try to unite and build sup­port for the sec­tor, show­cas­ing the very best of what they do. Not only have farm­ers col­lec­tive­ly raised the pro­file of British food and farm­ing, but we have also inspired a new gen­er­a­tion of agri-food professionals.”

“We are see­ing an ever-increas­ing desire amongst the pub­lic to learn more about where their food comes from. By tak­ing part in LOFS, farm­ers con­tin­ue to help change people’s per­cep­tions and under­stand­ing of the indus­try. It is a tru­ly mag­i­cal day, bring­ing farm­ing to life for thou­sands of visitors.”

"We’re call­ing on all farm­ers to think about how they can get involved in next year’s LEAF Open Farm Sun­day on 9th June and have a real, last­ing pos­i­tive impact in 2024!”

Vis­i­tor and indus­try feed­back has once again been huge­ly positive.

One LOFS vis­i­tor in North York­shire said:

“Had a bril­liant day at Wildon Grange Farm today about 20 mins from our home in Thirsk. Learnt so much about dairy farm­ing. The chil­dren loved it and were left feel­ing inspired. My lit­tle boy has not stopped talk­ing about look­ing for baby cows using the vet’s scan­ning machine and my teenage daugh­ter thinks she may want to go into farm­ing when she leaves school. Thank you so much.”

Reflect­ing on the day, Mol­ly Bid­dell, from Hamp­ton Estate Farms said:

“We had an utter­ly fan­tas­tic Open Farm Sun­day with around 2000 vis­i­tors. It was such an hon­our to wel­come HRH the Duchess of Edin­burgh and to show her the diver­si­ty of things we do at Hamp­ton."

Man­aged by LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing), farming’s annu­al open day has been a high­light in the farm­ing cal­en­dar since 2006, offer­ing vis­i­tors the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn about food pro­duc­tion, farm­ing and the envi­ron­ment first hand. LOFS is spon­sored nation­al­ly by: AHDB, Arla Foods, Asda, BASF, Co-op, Defra, Farm­ers Week­ly, Fron­tier Agri­cul­ture, John Deere, LEAF Mar­que, M&S, NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Wait­rose. All of which play a huge part in encour­ag­ing farm­ers to get involved, pro­mot­ing the event to the pub­lic, as well as sup­port on the day.

Next year’s LEAF Open Farm Sun­day will take place on Sun­day 9th June 2024.

For more infor­ma­tion on how to get involved with LOFS, vis­it www​.farm​sun​day​.org. To keep up to date with the LEAF Open Farm Sun­day cam­paign on social media, fol­low @OpenFarmSunday.