Open Farm Sunday 2021
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What is Open Farm Sunday?
Open Farm Sunday is a celebration of British farming that began in 2006 and is organised by LEAF for farmers to raise awareness amongst the general public of farming, nature and food. Farmers open their farms and allow in the public to experience the joys of farming and an industry many know little about or participate in.
It’s like a Through the Keyhole for farms (if you’re old enough to remember it).
This year, 2021, will be an extravaganza of fun with multiple events planned!
- Facebook Live virtual farm tours on LEAF Online Farm Sunday, 28 March (tune into their Facebook page on the day)
- The annual open day on Sunday, 27 June
- Another Online Farm Sunday on 26 September
- A Facebook Live every first Sunday of the month
Sponsors of the awareness campaign include large retailers such as Asda, the Co Op, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the like, and businesses in the supply chain such as Arla and BASF.
Note: you may also see the acronym LOFS (LEAF Open Farm Sunday).
It’s importance to the industry has been referred to as “the farming industry’s national open day” or a “national celebration of farming”.
Typically held every June, Open Farm Sunday had to postpone its 2020 event to 20 September due to the coronavirus pandemic.
LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is a leading British organisation that aims to deliver more sustainable food and farming. They work with farmers, the food industry, scientists and consumers, to inspire and enable sustainable farming that is prosperous, enriches the environment and engages local communities. They are active in 27 countries.
Farms organise a variety of events for both young and old from guided walks and nature trails to displays of machinery, sheep shearing and tractor rides.
What is the LEAF Marque?
You may have seen the LEAF marque.
The LEAF Marque is an assurance system recognising more sustainably farmed products. It is based on LEAF’s Integrated Farm Management (IFM) principles. All LEAF Marque certified farms are independently inspected.
LEAF Marque certified farms can be found in 27 countries across the globe. All farms certified to the LEAF Marque standard care for the environment for example by:
- Using crop rotations to keep the soil in good health
- Carefully managing their hedgerows to provide a variety of habitats and food sources for wildlife
- Implementing a plan to create and enhance habitats to increase biodiversity
- Using plant protection products and fertilisers only when absolutely necessary
- Leaving a strip of land between hedgerows and crops to act as habitat for wildlife
- Recycling on-farm waste and conserving energy
- Improving water efficiency and quality
- Assessing the environmental impact of their farming practices
- Continually improving their farming practices and the environment
All produce from LEAF Marque certified farms has been farmed with care for the future of our environment, wildlife, countryside, food and animals.
Open Farm Sunday Visitor Numbers and Statistics
Figures from Farmers Weekly show attendance at the event growing rapidly since its inception on 2006 with almost 300,000 people visiting events around the UK in 2018.