Open Farm Sunday 2012 was a great success! Our visitor numbers have exceed expectations with our earliest estimate at 150, 000 people getting out onto farms all over the country.
We were amazed by the reaction from both visitors and farmers on twitter throughout the day – you can see a selection here.
We wish to thank all of the farmers who opened up their gates this year, and a big thank you to all the helpers, visitors and sponsors for making this year’s Open Farm Sunday such a success.
We’ve been inundated with photographs from host farmers and visitors alike, with many entries into this year’s photography competition (there’s still time to enter too!). We’ve uploaded a selection to the Open Farm Sunday website here, there’s a Farmers Weekly gallery here, and a small gallery below. Enjoy!
And remember – next year’s Open Farm Sunday is on the 9th June 2013!
There’s only a few days left before farms across the country open their gates for Open Farm Sunday, farming’s annual open day!
Hundreds of farmers across the UK have been preparing for weeks for their open days. We really hope that the sun shines, everyone has a great day and all that hard work will pay off.
For everyone wanting to find out which farms are opening near you, please take a look at our website www.farmsunday.org.
Each farm is different and LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday provides a great opportunity to experience REAL farming at first hand and meet Britain’s farmers. Make sure you take your camera and enter our photography competition.
Good luck to everyone taking part from all of us at LEAF and have a successful Open Farm Sunday!
I hope many of you have been watching Sarah Raven’s recent programmes on Bees, Butterflies and Blooms on BBC 2. In the first programme, well known LEAF Demonstration Farmer, Duncan Farrington answers Sarah’s well founded concerns that modern agricultural crop production offers little room for pollinators, exemplified by shots of Duncan’s immaculate (to farmer’s eyes) crops of oilseed rape and wheat. He is working hard to establish wildflower mixtures in the 6 metre margins around his fields, a much more challenging prospect than straight grassy margins. Inherent fertility is the enemy of wildflowers and time will bring it down, but in the meantime, controlling pernicious weeds and aggressive grasses requires special management and we will follow Duncan’s efforts with interest.
Pollinators have really shot up the political agenda with Defra’s Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman putting an estimated £430 million value of pollinators to British agriculture. There is a mounting interest by gardeners and local authorities in providing suitable habitats for a wide range of beneficial insects but farmers ought to be leading the way on a scale that attracts attention. On many of the farms involved in this year’s Open Farm Sunday, pollination will be a major feature. We are pleased to be working with Syngenta, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and other experts on a national survey of pollinators. Open Farm Sunday continues to grow in stature by doing much more than just providing an enjoyable day out, by informing and educating about our responsible role in countryside management.
How about creating a buzz on your farm this June by getting involved in the pollinator survey and inviting your neighbours and local schools to your farm on the 17th June? How about also letting us know your experiences of establishing wildflower strips? Knowledge shared will benefit many more of us.
About the author
Stephen Fell is LEAF’s Chairman and Managing Director of the family farming business HR Fell and Sons Ltd, running a flock of 1000 sheep and growing root crops at Thorganby in the Vale of York. He is also Managing Director of Lindum Turf, a business growing and marketing a range of turf and specialist grass and wildflower products.
This post is by Anthony Goggin, LEAF Marque Technical Manager.
I have recently returned from sunny Sub Saharan Africa where I helped with LEAF’s first ever African LEAF Open Farm Sunday in Kenya! Continue reading
Jake Freestone at Overbury Farms for Open Farm Sunday
Just days after drought was declared in Britain, after one of the driest springs on record the heavens opened, with some parts of the UK getting more than half an inch in less than 24 hours. Unfortunately, the rain came just a day too early for farmers on Open Farm Sunday. So much hard work had gone into preparations for the day but farmers and the visitors across the country were not going to let a bit of rain spoil the day! Continue reading
Only a few days left to go before Open Farm Sunday, farming’s annual open day!
Hundreds of farmers across the UK will be getting out the brooms and paint, putting up the livestock pens, polishing the machinery, all in preparation for the big day. We really hope that the sun shines this Sunday and that everyone has a great day and all that hard work will pay off.
For everyone wanting to find out which farms are opening near you, please take a look at our website www.farmsunday.org. Continue reading
This year’s Open Farm Sunday is just about a month away. So here is a mini update on what’s been going on in the run up to this year’s event.