Open Farm Sunday

Organisers of Open Farm Sunday are urging more farmers to take part as the event moves into its seventh year.

Organisers Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) say the event, which reaches out to more than one million consumers, has become the food and farming industry’s annual flagship event. Online registration began this week.

LEAF chief executive Caroline Drummond said: “As a nation we are becoming increasingly urbanised and many consumers are still disengaged with the countryside and the story behind their food – which is why Open Farm Sunday is more important than ever.”

“As well as showcasing the industry, Open Farm Sunday is also a fantastic opportunity for farmers to build bridges between themselves and the public and tell them about the valuable work they do and show them at first hand how the food they enjoy every day is produced.

“The feedback we get from farmers each year shows the wide range of benefits they receive from taking part in Open Farm Sunday and how much they enjoy the day too. Benefits mentioned include building community relations and raising a farm’s profile through to increasing sales. But it is the face to face engagement between farmers and the public that is the most important part of Open Farm Sunday – no matter what the size or type of event.”

There are several new elements planned for Open Farm Sunday 2012 – including a national Pollinator Survey which is being supported by a long term sponsor and supporter Syngenta, in partnership with scientific experts, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. This is an opportunity for the public and farmers to work together and discover at first hand the importance of nature to their food in a fun and engaging way.

The Pollinator Survey will seek to scientifically record and measure pollinator activity on farms across the country on the June 17, with results then analysed over the summer months. LEAF is hoping that at least 100 farms will sign up to take part in the survey. Full training and support will be provided to participating farms.

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LEAF offers workshops which are free to attend and will take place across the UK in February and May 2012. Farmers will be able to meet with other farmers who have hosted open days before and learn from their experiences, as well as get great ideas and advice on a whole range of topics.

There are 10 regional coordinators across the country, many of whom have hosted an Open Farm Sunday event, whose role it is to help farmers with local advice on planning and hosting an event.

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