LEAF Open Farm Sunday connects communities with British farming and food

  • Over 250 farmers welcomed the public onto their farms for this year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS) to shine a spotlight on the British farming industry and all it delivers

This year, farmers welcomed over 170,000 people onto farms across Britain on Sunday 11th June. Every event was unique, showcasing the whole industry, from arable, horticulture, livestock and agro-forestry to the science and technology involved.  Farmer shared the same aim of helping to bridge the farm and fork disconnect and to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to sustainability, biodiversity and delivering nutritious food and a well-managed countryside.

Visiting a working farm provided a brilliant opportunity for people to talk directly with the farmers that produce our food, and understand what is involved in sustainable food production, a topic that is at the forefront of many households.

LEAF Honorary President, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh visited the LOFS event at Hampton Estate Farms in Surrey.  During her tour she saw first-hand what farming delivers and met some inspirational young people to hear about how they are forging their careers in the sector. Defra Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP supported by thanking all farmers opening their gates via social media.  We were pleased to welcome Shadow Environment Minister Daniel Zeichner MP, who visited MHS Farms in Cambridgeshire.

 Annabel Shackleton, LOFS manager said:

“At a time when the public is more aware than ever of the value of their food – in terms of food security and how much it costs, farming’s annual open day is so important. It offers a fantastic opportunity for the whole industry to unite and build support for the sector, showcasing the very best of what they do.  Not only have farmers collectively raised the profile of British food and farming, but we have also inspired a new generation of agri-food professionals.”

“We are seeing an ever-increasing desire amongst the public to learn more about where their food comes from.  By taking part in LOFS, farmers continue to help change people’s perceptions and understanding of the industry.  It is a truly magical day, bringing farming to life for thousands of visitors.”

We’re calling on all farmers to think about how they can get involved in next year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday on 9th June and have a real, lasting positive impact in 2024!”

Visitor and industry feedback has once again been hugely positive.

One LOFS visitor in North Yorkshire said:

“Had a brilliant day at Wildon Grange Farm today about 20 mins from our home in Thirsk.

Learnt so much about dairy farming. The children loved it and left feeling inspired. My little boy has not stopped talking about looking for baby cows using the vet’s scanning machine and my teenage daughter thinks she may want to go into farming when she leaves school.  Thank you so much.”

Reflecting on the day, Molly Biddell, from Hampton Estate Farms said:

“We had an utterly fantastic Open Farm Sunday. It was such an honour to welcome HRH the Duchess of Edinburgh and to show her the diversity of things we do at Hampton. Open Farm Sunday is one of our favourite events of the year, we love connecting with people and demonstrating where our food comes from and what farming with nature can look like.”

Ms Shackleton congratulates all involved: “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who made LOFS 2023 another huge success, particularly all the host farmers, volunteers and sponsors.”

Managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), farming’s annual open day has been a highlight in the farming calendar since 2006, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about food production, farming and the environment first hand. LOFS is sponsored nationally by: AHDB, Arla Foods, Asda, BASF, Co-op, Defra, Farmers Weekly, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, M&S, NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. All of which play a huge part in encouraging farmers to get involved, promoting the event to the public, as well as support on the day.

Next year’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday will take place on Sunday 9th June 2024.

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LEAF Open Farm Sunday strengthens public trust in British farming