East Anglia: Open Farm Sunday on June 9 offers behind-the-scenes glimpse of farm life

Children feeding cows at an Open Farm Sunday event

Children feeding cows at an Open Farm Sunday event - Credit: Archant

Farmers across East Anglia and the UK will be throwing open their farm gates in a fortnight to offer the public a rare glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.

Open Farm Sunday, which takes place on June 9, has become a yearly fixture in the agricultural calendar, with many farms across Suffolk and Essex taking part.

One of the participants, Sally Bendall, of Hollow Tree Farm, Semer, Hadleigh, said Open Farm Sunday was “a great chance” to find out more about the food farmers produce, and how they care for the countryside and wildlife.

“On Open Farm Sunday we will be taking visitors on tours of the farm so they can see for themselves the whole story behind their food,” she said.

“The tour will take you, literally from gate to plate, finishing with a visit to our butchery department which is part of our farm shop, where many of our vegetables are also sold.”

The agri-food sector contributes £89.1 billion to Britain’s economy and employs 3.5m people.

UK farmers produce 52% of all food consumed in the UK and grow 23% of all fruit and vegetables consumed in the UK

Most Read

One million tonnes of sugar is produced each year from sugar beets grown by British farmers.

The total area of utilised agricultural land in the UK is 17.2million hectares.

There are approximately 14,000 acres of salad farms in the UK growing 130,800 tonnes of salad leaves a year, of which 4,000 acres are in East Anglia

Since 2006 almost one million visitors have visited Open Farm Sunday events. In 2012, more than 150,000 people visited 335 farms – more visitors than at Glastonbury.

This is the eighth year that national charity LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has run the event, and hundreds of farms will be taking part.

Sponsors include Asda, Country Life butter, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Marks and Spencer, National Farmers Union, Syngenta, The Co-operative and Waitrose, plus BPEX, Dairy Co, EBLEX, HDC, HGCA, Cotswold Seeds and FarmStay UK.