Smallholder or farmer in the West Country looking to raise the profile of what you do and share your farming story? Every year hundreds of farmers across Great Britain break their usual routine to open their gates to the public as part of Open Farm Sunday.
What is ‘Open Farm Sunday’ we hear you ask?
Here’s a handy guide to one of the industry’s ‘biggest success stories’…
About farming’s biggest public event
Open Farm Sunday was set up by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) over ten years ago as part of an initiative to build a better public understanding of food and farming.
Since the first open day was held in 2006, millions of people have visited farms across Great Britain.
This year marks its 11th event, when farmers will once again open their gates to the public for one day only, giving them a unique glimpse of life on a farm.
When is it?
This year’s Open Farm event takes place on Sunday, 5th June 2016.
Last year, more than 250,000 people visited 389 farms and LEAF is attempting to top this by incorporating a theme, which will be ‘Discover the World of Farming’, encouraging all types of farms to get involved.
Why should you take part?
Whether you run a smallholding producing fruit and veg or a large dairy farm, the event is open to all types of farming.
By opening your gates to the public, you’re helping people have a better understanding of the industry and hard work that goes into it.
Not only that, it’s a great form of promotion, especially if you plan to sell any of your homemade products!
If you’re looking at buying a farm or smallholding in the West Country, why not go along to an event to see how you could take part in the future?
Some 200 farms and smallholdings have already registered this year, with a large number of these in the West Country.
How do I get involved?
You can decide whether to host an invite-only event or open your farm up to the public. Registration is free and there’s still time to take part this June.
For more information about registering follow this link https://farmsunday.org/
Ideas for things to do on your farm
According to LEAF, one in five visitors to Open Farm Sunday have never visited a farm, so what might seem like the ‘norm’ to you, will be a completely different experience for those who visit your farm.
Whether it’s a small-scale invite-only event or a larger open day, here are a few things you could do on your Open Farm Sunday:
• Tours — Take visitors on a walking tour of your smallholding or farm; not only does this allow them to see it, it also gives you peace of mind that they are familiar with the areas they can explore, and don’t go wandering off!
• Demonstrations — Demonstrations such as milking, shearing, harvesting, or crop production are great ways of showing your farm in action.
• Workshops — Nearby farmers also attend Open Farm Sundays so why not invite local experts to hold workshops. Consider teaming up with your vet to arrange a demonstration/workshop.
• Talks — Holding talks during slots throughout the day allows you to allocate time elsewhere and ensures visitors know what’s happening and when.
• Machinery displays — Machinery dealers are often looking for the chance to showcase their latest range. Not only does it provide good promotion for them, it gives visitors an insight into equipment and tools used on your smallholding/farm.
Free resources and more information are available from the Open Farm Sunday website.
If you’re searching for your own smallholding or farm in Devon or Cornwall, get in touch with West Country Dream on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.