Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) reflects on a record breaking 10th Anniversary Open Farm Sunday.
What a day! The sun shone (on most of us!) and the crowds came flocking onto farms in their thousands! Early estimates show that visitor numbers for Open Farm Sunday 2015 will be over 250,000 – far exceeding the record breaking attendance of 2014 by more than 15%.
Our tenth Open Farm Sunday has been a resounding success and a fantastic celebration of British farming and food. From the feedback received so far, it’s clear that Open Farm Sunday enabled hundreds of thousands of people to have an amazing day in the countryside, learning about farming and the story behind their food. We’re particularly delighted so many families took the time to visit farms up and down the country, many for the first time.
On behalf of all the LEAF team, I’d like to offer a huge thank you to everyone involved. Some 400 farms opened their gates and it is the farmers, their families, sponsors, the Young Farmers, the neighbours, others in the industry that we ALL owe a huge debt in helping raise the profile of why farming is great.
Farmers do not often get a ‘thank you’ for all the hard work they do every single day to produce our food and manage the countryside. I hope all the farmers that opened their gates will be heartened by the public support there is for farming and cherish some special memories. The faces of the children and the families who visited them on Open Farm Sunday, as well as the sheer joy and sense of awe in seeing the livestock, a calf being born or the size and price of the machinery, not to mention the many inquisitive questions. Indeed, the only tears I saw were those of the children not wanting to go home!
So a huge well done and thank you! Do take a moment to complete our host farmer feedback form so we can continue to build on the success we have achieved together.
Finally, as well as Open Farm Sunday, LEAF also organises Open Farm School Days, where farms are open for school visits throughout June – click here to find out more.
Next year’s Open Farm Sunday will take place on the 5th June 2016 so please put the date in your diary now and keep up with all the Open Farm Sunday news on our website www.farmsunday.org and follow us on Twitter @openfarmsunday