Delve into the agri-food industry this month by visiting a farm on LEAF Open Farm Sunday
On 11th June, farmers across the country will once again open their gates for a national celebration of farming and all it delivers, inviting the public to join them and discover where their food comes from.
LEAF Open Farm Sunday is farming’s annual open day and has been the go-to event in the calendar since 2006, offering a wonderful opportunity for visitors to get closer to farming and the people that make it happen. Each event is unique, each farm is different and every farmer too, but what they all share is a passion for farming, amazing expertise, and a commitment to caring for the countryside.
Some farms have been passed down through the generations, others are managed by those who have chosen farming as their career; each has its own special story to tell and LEAF Open Farm Sunday is the ideal chance to come and hear it. Farmers may have a host of activities planned such as guided farm walks and nature trails, bug hunts and soil pits, tractor and trailer rides, displays of modern, high tech farm machinery and more!
Come and meet the farmers, their families and other industry professionals, discover first-hand how farmers support our wellbeing through their care of the environment, the sustainable production of our food and how they manage the countryside to help work towards net zero and mitigating climate change. Together they manage valuable resources like water and soil, and habitats for wildlife to thrive. Discover all that goes into producing the food we eat and the many other ways that farmers contribute to our daily lives.
Read some of our LOFS host farmers stories below:
Hillhead of Ardo Farm, Methlick, Aberdeenshire www.ardochristmastrees.co.uk
Jean and Roger Glennie run Hillhead of Ardo Farm; a family Christmas tree farm just outside Methlick in Aberdeenshire
The 150-acre farm is currently growing 30,000 container grown (“ living”) Christmas trees – this type of Christmas tree will appeal to the sustainability conscious consumer, as they are grown in a pot so that after the Christmas period those who don’t want to plant the tree in their own garden, can bring it back to the farm to be replanted in a plantation to spend the rest of its days. A trend which is growing in popularity, with Jean and Roger being the only farmers to offer trees a new forever home
This is the farm’s third LEAF Open Farm Sunday (11th June 2023, 10am — 4pm), with visitors on the day having the opportunity to see how the perfect Christmas tree is grown, from the ground prep and planting, to treatment and harvesting, join guided walks of the farm and the sapling plantation, see machinery display, vintage tractor & various exhibitors and trade stands, as well as explore the mini Christmas tree maize.
If Hillhead of Ardo Farm isn’t close enough, then here are three other Scotland farms that you could visit on LEAF Open Farm Sunday:
Lyne Mhor Croft, Inverness (11th June 2023, 10.30am — 4.30pm) is home to rare breed Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs, Texel cross Sheep, hens, ducks and turkeys
Guardswell Farm, Perthshire (11th June 2023, 10am – 4pm) is a 170-acre grassland farm- with a range of farming enterprises including a small chemical free market garden, a flock of Hebridean sheep and a small herd of angora goats www.guardswell.co.uk
Low Auldgirth Steading, Dumfries (11th June 2023, 10am – 4pm) is home to native breeds of sheep, pigs, geese and chickens https://www.lowauldgirth.co.uk
Cornhill Farm, Cornwall https://cornhillfarm.co.uk/
The Olds family have been farming at Cornhill since 1912 when Harry Olds moved from Lelant. Since then they have gradually expanded the farm to more than 500 acres as it stands today
The family has 14,000 free range hens and farm 350 acres of land for growing crops to feed the chickens
Shortly before the pandemic, the Olds made the decision to move away from the retailer partnership that they had been in since 2002, to focus on selling their eggs locally. This move proved to be hugely successful, especially during the national lockdowns, with them now selling all their eggs to the local community including many local businesses
Unlike the majority of LOFS farm events, Cornhill’s is taking place two weeks later on 25th June between 11am – 3pm
Visitors on the day will have the opportunity to meet the animals, see a static machinery display, as well as enjoy tractor and trailer rides. They can also do pond dipping, pack and grade eggs and enjoy a farm walk.
If Cornhill Farm isn’t close enough, then here are three other farms in the South West that you could visit on LEAF Open Farm Sunday:
Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall (11th June 2023, 2pm – 4pm) is a regenerative livestock farm powered by renewable energy
Blackberry Farm, Devon (11th June 2023, 10am – 4pm) is home to cows, sheep, donkeys, Alpacas, horses and goats www.blackberryfarmshop.co.uk
The Slow Farming Company, Somerset (11th June 2023, 11am – 3pm) is a 180-acre organic and regenerative farm producing grass fed beef, pastured eggs and pastured pork https://www.slowfarming.co.uk
North East and Yorkshire
Rock House Farm, Bedale, North Yorkshire https://www.rockhousemeats.co.uk/
Rock House Farm has been run by two generations of the Peach family (made up of David, Sheena, Tom and Zoe Peach) for 6.5 years, since they inherited the farm from a late uncle
They started with nothing and now the farm is home to a small herd of Hereford cattle, a number of rare breed Berkshire pigs, as well as a flock of ewes and lambs, which are raised on the farm’s ancient hay meadows — which make up a quarter of the land they farm
The family prides itself on producing good quality, local and affordable food, which has the lowest possible impact on the environment, which is why all the farm’s produce is sold in the Rock House Farm Shop
This is the farm’s sixth LEAF Open Farm Sunday and unlike the majority of LOFS farm events, Rock House Farm’s is taking place two weeks prior on 28th May between 10am – 4pm. Visitors on the day will enjoy farming machinery demonstrations, hay meadow walks, animal welfare talks and much more.
If Rock House Farm isn’t close enough, then here are three other farms in the North East and Yorkshire that you could visit on LEAF Open Farm Sunday:
White Quarry Farm, North Yorkshire (11th June 2023, 10am – 1pm) is an arable farm with some grassland for sheep and horses http://www.broomhousedurham.co.uk
Broom House, County Durham (11th June 2023, 11am – 3pm) is a livestock farm with Aberdeen Angus cows and Lleyn sheep.
Curlew Fields Farm, York (11th June 2023, 11am – 4pm) is a modern working dairy farm. Visitors on the day can meet the animals and go on a farm tour.
Rhual Dairy, Flintshire, North Wales
Rhual Dairy is a 550-acre dairy farm in rural North Wales run by fourth generation farmer John Booth and his wife Anna
Mainly a grassland farm, Rhual Dairy has 330 cows for milking, they also rear 180 youngstock, breed Dorset sheep and grow maize, wheat and barley
The LEAF Open Farm Sunday event at Rhual Dairy will take place between 2pm – 5pm on 11th June, with visitors having the opportunity to see the milking processing, meet the cows and calves, as well as joining guided farm walks.
If Rhual Dairy isn’t close enough, then here are three other farms in the Wales that you could visit on LEAF Open Farm Sunday:
Parc Grace Dieu Farm, Monmouthshire (11th June 2023, 1.30pm – 5pm) is a sheep farm. Visitors on the day can meet the animals, go on a guided farm tour, see a static machinery display and learn about science in farming
Gelli Aur Farm, Coleg Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire (11th June 2023, 12pm – 4pm) is a dairy and sheep farm. Visitors can meet the animals, see a machinery demonstration and go on a hosted farm tour
Hendwr, Denbighshire (11th June 2023, 11.00am – 2.30pm) is a family farm with sheep and cattle. On the day visitors can meet the animals, join a guided farm tour, see a static machinery display and learn about science in farming.
LEAF Open Farm Sunday is a fantastic experience for all ages – visit www.farmsunday.org to find a farm opening near you.
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