Open Farm Sunday organisers announce preparation events for host farmers

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Organisers of Open Farm Sunday, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), has announced a series of nationwide events for host farmers ahead of farming’s national open day on 5th June and Open Farm School Days throughout June 2016.

The inspiring events packed with lots of hints and tips will help both experienced and new host farmers to have the best possible open farm events!

“Last year, Open Farm Sunday was a huge success, and we are keen to ensure 2016 is even better! We are organising this programme of events to inspire experienced host farmers and support new host farmers who are thinking of taking part for the first time this year.”

Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday Manager

There are three types of events to choose from: the NEW Share Your Story Events; the tried and tested Information Events, as well as School Visit Workshops. All events are FREE of charge and open to all farmers.

The Share Your Story Events will have a range of host farmer speakers and offer farmers the opportunity to share best practice and network with their peers. LEAF Demonstration Farmer and founder of the Open Farm Sunday concept, Ian Piggott OBE, will be hosting one of these events at The Farmschool, Hertfordshire on Wednesday 23rd March, the other two events will take place in Somerset (22nd March) and North Yorkshire (21st April).

The information rvents will cover all aspects of putting on safe and engaging Open Farm Sunday events, and are ideal for first time farmers and farmers wanting to update their knowledge. The first Information Event takes place in Cheshire on Thursday 3rd March, with following events taking place in Powys, West Sussex, Rutland, Wiltshire, Cornwall, County Durham and Oxfordshire.

LEAF is working in partnership with Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) to deliver four School Visit Workshops for farmers looking to host school visits, not only for Open Farm School Days in June but also at other times of the year. The workshops will provide advice on how to organise classroom trips that align with the curriculum and lots of inspirational activity ideas. School Visit Workshops will be taking place in Hampshire, Devon, West Midlands and Bedfordshire.

Farmers can book a FREE place at any of LEAF’s preparation events as well as register to take part in Open Farm Sunday and Open Farm School Days at www.farmsunday.org.

Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday Manager said: “Last year, Open Farm Sunday was a huge success, and we are keen to ensure 2016 is even better! We are organising this programme of events to inspire experienced host farmers and support new host farmers who are thinking of taking part for the first time this year.

“We encourage all farmers to start planning ahead so that they are fully prepared to open their gates to the general public. Open Farm Sunday on 5th June and Open Farm School Days throughout June are a perfect opportunity for farmers to share their story so people can see for themselves why farming is so important and how it affects our daily lives - from food and fuel to clothing and manufacturing. We are looking forward to more farmers taking part this year.”

Further support will be provided to host farmers through Open Farm Sunday’s new website which is coming soon and the Open Farm Sunday Regional Coordinators who are on hand to answer farmers’ questions and share top tips. All host farmers will also receive a range of free resources from Open Farm Sunday organisers and sponsors.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for 2016 and organisations keen to sponsor Open Farm Sunday are asked to contact Annabel Shackleton on 024 7641 3911/079 1246 3151. Sponsors confirmed include Arla, Asda, BASF plc, Defra, Farmers Weekly, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Marks and Spencer, National Farmers Union, Sainsburys, The Co-operative Food, Waitrose plus the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, with direct support from the AHDB sectors: Beef and Lamb, Cereals and Oilseeds, Dairy, Horticulture, and Pork.

NEW Share Your Story events

Tuesday 22nd March, South West, Frogmary Green Farm, West Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5DJ, 11am-3.00pm

Wednesday 23rd March, South East, The Farm School, Annables Lane, Kinsbourne Green, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 3PR, 11am-3.00pm

Thursday 21st April, North, Stockbridge Technology Centre, Cawood, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 3TZ, 11am-3.00pm

OFS information events

Thursday 3rd March, North West, Red House Farm, Red House Lane, Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 5RL, 2-5pm

Tuesday 8th March, Wales, Mudiad Ffermwyr Ifanc Cymru/Wales Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, Canolfan CFfI Cymru/Wales YFC Centre, Llanelwedd, Llanfair ym Muallt/Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3NJ, 1.30-4.30pm

Thursday 10th March, South East, Scaynes Hill Millenium Centre, Lewes Road, Scaynes Hill, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7PG, 2-5pm

Tuesday 15th March, East Midlands, Northfield Farm, Whissendine Lane, Cold Overton, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 7QF, Sat Nav: LE15 7JD, 2-5pm

Thursday 21st April, South, P T Hosier and Son, Wexcombe Manor, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 3SQ, 2-5pm

Events will also take place in Oxfordshire, County Durham and Cornwall. If you are interested in attending an information event in Scotland please contact the LEAF office 024 7641 3911.

School visit workshops

Tuesday 17th March, South East, The Cross Barn (The Hayloft), Palace Gate Farm, Odiham, Hampshire, RG29 1JX, 2-5pm

Thursday 10th March, South West, Quickes Traditional Ltd, Home Farm, Newton St Cyres, Exeter, Devon, EX5 5AY, 2-5pm

Tuesday 22nd March, Midlands, Southfields Farm, Packington Lane, Coleshill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B46 3EJ, 2-5pm

Tuesday 19th April, East, Jordans Mill, Holme Mills, Langford Road, Broom, Bedfordshire, SG18 9JY, 2-5pm

Places are limited. Booking essential. Refreshments available free of charge. Farmers can book a free place at any of LEAF’s event at www.farmsunday.org.