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Farmers discover the key to opening their gates


To help farmers prepare for this years Open Farm Sunday (12th June), organiser LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is holding a series of workshops across the country in March and April.

The free workshops will be led by the Open Farm Sunday Regional Coordinators and will provide farmers with an excellent insight into how to organise successful and enjoyable events, whatever their size. The workshops are ideal for farmers thinking of opening their farms, not just for Open Farm Sunday (OFS) but for school children and other group visits too, as topics such as health and safety and publicity are covered, as well as ideas for visitor activities.

The workshops also offer farmers who have not opened their gates to the public before, a chance to meet other farmers who have, and hear at first hand how beneficial and enjoyable they have found the experience.

The workshops are part of the support available to farmers from LEAF. Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday manager, said: Last year more people attended Open Farm Sunday events than Glastonbury and were keen to build on that success and see even more farms across the country taking part. The workshops themselves are relaxed and informal – there is something for everyone, however large your event, so we hope farmers can come along and learn from each other.

As well as the workshops, LEAF offers farmers a range of free support to help them run successful Open Farm Sunday events. This includes:

  • A resource pack containing publicity material (posters, flyers, etc), suggested activities, Health and Safety guidance, polo shirts and lots more!
  • Website ( where farmers can find the full list of workshops, register their event, order free resource packs or find out more about Open Farm Sunday

Now in its sixth year, Open Farm Sunday gives the public the opportunity to discover where their food comes from and how farmers care for the countryside. Over 450 farms across the country, from Cheshire to Cornwall, Flintshire to Fife and Norfolk to Northumberland, are expected to open.  As Annabel explains: There are real business benefits too for those farmers who host events: it can help you improve sales, learn new marketing skills, and build staff morale and sense of pride. You can gain new contacts, or simply improve relationships with your local community.

All workshops run from 1:30pm until 4:30pm. The workshops currently scheduled to take place are:





Mon 07 March

Guiting Manor Farms Ltd

Farm Office, Guiting Power, Cheltenham

GL54 5UX

Tues 08 March

Underwood Discovery Centre

Higher Farm, Beeson, Kingsbridge, Devon


Weds 09 March

Beaudesert Park Farm

Horsey Lane, Rugeley, Staffs

WS15 4LN

Thurs 10 March

Littlestoke Farm

Ipsden, Wallingford, Oxon

OX10 6AX

Fri 11 March

Langmead Farms

Park Farm, Lower Bognor Road, Lagness, Chichester, West Sussex

PO20 1LS

Mon 14 March

Slade Farm

Wick Road, St Brides Major, Bridgend, South Wales

CF32 0TE

Tues 15 March

Venue TBC

Wed 16 March

Cronkshaw Fold Farm

Alden Road, Helmshore, Rossendale, Lancashire


Thurs 17 March

Youlton Lodge

Tollerton, York

YO61 1QJ

Fri 18 March

The Grange

Warrington Road, Mickle Trafford, Chester


Mon 21 March

Woodfields Farm

Common Drift, Gressenhall, Dereham, Norfolk

NR20 4EN

Tues 22 March

Glebe Organic Farm

Woodford, Thrapston, Northamptonshire

NN14 4ES

Weds 23 March

Aston Hall Farm

White Ladies Aston, Spetchley, Worcestershire


Thurs 24 March

Venue TBC

Fri 25 March

Knowes Farm

By East Linton, Dunbar, Scotland

EH42 1XJ

Mon 28 March


Shackerdale Farm, Car Colston, Nr Bingham, Nottinghamshire

NG13 8JB

Tues 29 March

Coppice House Farm

Rivelin Valley Road, Rivelin, Sheffield

S6 5SG

Weds 30 March

Barleylands Farm

Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex

CM11 2UD

Thurs 31 March

Goathurs Common Farms

Brook Place, Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent

TN14 6BL

Fri 01 April

Venue TBC

Mon 04 April


Elan Valley, Rhayader, Wales


Fri 08 April

Dunecht Estate

Dunecht Estate, Elgin, nr Aberdeen, Scotland

AB32 7AW

Farmers can book a place on a workshop or get in touch with their regional coordinator by telephoning LEAF on 02476 413 911 or by emailing

  • LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is a national charity that helps farmers produce food with care for the environment, while working with their local community
  • The sixth annual Open Farm Sunday on 12 June provides a great opportunity for the public to truly get to know how their food is produced and how the countryside around them is cared for
  • Visitors will be able to learn from farmers themselves how natural plant and insect species are encouraged to thrive alongside crops, they will get a close-up look at farm animals and see how the needs of wildlife are balanced with modern food production
  • LEAF organises Open Farm Sunday and supports farmers with putting on an event that is not only enjoyable, but gives visitors a really fascinating insight into aspects of the countryside that they would not usually see or experience on an average day out
  • LEAF supports both LEAF and non-LEAF member farmers by hosting a number of workshops across the country with practical advice and tips for organising successful events.  LEAF also provides free promotional support materials and an interactive online event database to register details of farmer events
  • Food carrying the LEAF Marque logo shows that it has been grown by farmers who are committed to looking after the countryside and the environment.  LEAF farmers are subject to an independent LEAF Audit, designed to help them meet the change in demands placed on operations by legislation, the marketplace, community and the industry.
  • An increasing number of farmers are signing up to support LEAF to demonstrate how they are integrating modern farming with environmental conservation
  • Principal sponsors for Open Farm Sunday 2011 are: ASDA, Farmers Weekly, Frontier, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Natural England, National Farmers Union, Syngenta, Waitrose and Warburtons.

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