LEAF Open Farm Sunday Search

Discovering more about sustainable farming on LEAF Open Farm Sunday

With farmers managing over 70% of the UK land area, LEAF Open Farm Sunday (27th June) is a unique opportunity to experience the role British farmers play in enhancing and protecting the environment and fighting climate change through more sustainable farming. To find out more information about how to book on to a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event, please visit: https://farmsunday.org (Please note booking is essential)

But what is sus­tain­able farm­ing and why is it important?

  • Cli­mate pos­i­tive farm­ing means grow­ing crops and rear­ing live­stock in a sus­tain­able, regen­er­a­tive way, so our nat­ur­al resources are replen­ished rather than depleted.
  • More sus­tain­able, nature-based farm­ing is vital for help­ing max­imise the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of farm­land, so we can con­tin­ue to feed the expand­ing glob­al pop­u­la­tion. It is pre­dict­ed that, by 2030, the world will need to pro­duce 50% more food and ener­gy, togeth­er with 30% more avail­able fresh water, whilst still adapt­ing to cli­mate change (Bed­ding­ton 2011).
  • Farm­ers can help com­bat cli­mate change through the imple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices, such as Inte­grat­ed Farm Man­age­ment (IFM), which is a holis­tic whole busi­ness approach that uses tech­nol­o­gy and tra­di­tion­al meth­ods to deliv­er pros­per­ous farm­ing that enrich­es the environment. 

LEAF Open Farm Sun­day sees farm­ers all around the coun­try open­ing their gates to show the pub­lic how they are help­ing the envi­ron­ment through sus­tain­able farm­ing. Below are exam­ples of some of the farms who are tak­ing part in LEAF Open Farm Sun­day this year. Find out more here: https://​farm​sun​day​.org

A .J and C. I Snell, South Here­ford­shire

Event: 11.00am on Sun­day 27th June 2021 – there are lim­it­ed spaces, so pre-book­ing is essential.

Address: A.J & C.I Snell, Wind­mill Hill, Hare­wood End, Ross on Wye, Here­ford­shire, HR2 8JS

About the farm: As one of the UK’s lead­ing fresh and frozen fruit grow­ers, A .J and C. I Snell are based near Ross on Wye in South Here­ford­shire. The 450-acre farm pro­duces near­ly 1,300 tonnes of 

straw­ber­ries every year plus rasp­ber­ries, black­ber­ries, blue­ber­ries and red­cur­rants. A .J and C. I Snell, has been LEAF Mar­que cer­ti­fied since 2007 and is also a LEAF Demon­stra­tion Farm. 

Join Antho­ny Snell and his fam­i­ly for LEAF Open Farm Sun­day and see first-hand how they farm sus­tain­ably: We grow organ­ic and con­ven­tion­al soft fruits and berries, which are high­ly per­ish­able, so they are sold in both fresh and frozen form to min­imise food waste. We’ve already achieved net zero’ sta­tus for green­house gas emis­sions on the farm by improv­ing pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cy – grow­ing more food with reduced inputs – while lock­ing up car­bon in the grass­land that cov­ers the farm. Our fruit is grown on soil-free coir sub­strate and the table­tops’ for fruit grow­ing are installed on uncul­ti­vat­ed grass­land. We are also deter­mined to dri­ve down our demand for water and ensure that our use of this key resource is sus­tain­able. We have achieved this by har­ness­ing the heavy rain­fall typ­i­cal of the west of Eng­land through rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing for use in crop irri­ga­tion dur­ing spells of dri­er weather.

We have also installed a series of water stor­age lakes on the farm which means that we now have the capac­i­ty to col­lect the rain that falls on our land and poly­tun­nels. This water, which is col­lect­ed in the lakes and then cir­cu­lat­ed through the poly­tun­nels through­out the grow­ing sea­son, would oth­er­wise run off our land and down the val­ley, con­tribut­ing to flood­ing risks. It also means we don’t place addi­tion­al stress on water resources dur­ing the peak sum­mer season.”

Frog­mary Green Farm, Somerset

Event: 11am – 4pm on Sun­day 27th June 2021

Address: Frog­mary Green Farm, West St, South Pether­ton, Som­er­set, TA13 5DJ

About the farm: Frog­mary Green Farm is a LEAF Demon­stra­tion Farm, show­cas­ing best prac­tice in sus­tain­able farm­ing. The 202-hectare farm is run by Nick and Claire Bragg. Frog­mary Green Farm is an arable farm with high envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards run­ning through­out the farm. Nick and Claire are almost self-suf­fi­cient in terms of elec­tric­i­ty and heat­ing on farm and across their diver­si­fi­ca­tion busi­ness­es after the imple­men­ta­tion of an anaer­o­bic digester. 95% of the heat­ing used on farm comes from their own sources, which means the need for tak­ing pow­er from the grid is sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced, and the pow­er is com­ing from a sus­tain­able source. Join Nick and Claire for LEAF Open Farm Sun­day and see first-hand how they farm sus­tain­ably, along with trac­tors, farm machin­ery and ani­mals. Food and drink are also available.

Ghyll Bank Farm,Cumbria

Event: 11am – 3pm on 27th June 2021 

Address: Ghyll Bank Farm, Rais­beck, Orton, Pen­rith, CA10 3SG

About the farm: Ghyll Bank is a mixed live­stock upland farm with native breed cat­tle, pigs and sheep. Run by hus­band and wife team Jen­ny and Lenny Bowes, the farm is com­mit­ted to sus­tain­able farm­ing and use no arti­fi­cial fer­tilis­ers. They also employ grass­land man­age­ment tech­niques to ensure they utilise graz­ing, sheep and cat­tle are total­ly grass fed and nev­er receive any addi­tion­al feed, and soya free feed is giv­en to the pigs. 

Jen­ny Bowes explains more: We have under­tak­en a car­bon audit and are on our way to becom­ing car­bon neu­tral in the near future and we recy­cle all our farm waste. We also test sheep poo to reduce the amount of worm­ing med­i­cines we use and have reduced sheep num­bers to man­age them in a more nat­ur­al way. We are work­ing with the Lune Rivers Trust on flood mit­i­ga­tion projects and our farm is help­ing to slow the flow of water to the Riv­er Lune. Anoth­er way we are help­ing the envi­ron­ment is by restor­ing sev­er­al tra­di­tion­al hay mead­ows and plant­i­ng more trees and hedges. We have also plant­ed wild bird feed strips on the land to encour­age more birds and intro­duced sev­er­al bee hives.”

Join Ghyll Bank Farm on LEAF Open Farm Sun­day and meet their sheep, Belt­ed Gal­loway Cat­tle, Long­horn Cat­tle and native breed pigs. Activ­i­ties include sheep shear­ing demon­stra­tions, children’s activ­i­ties and fun com­pe­ti­tions for all the fam­i­ly. Vis­i­tors will be able to see sus­tain­able farm­ing in action, from restor­ing tra­di­tion­al hay mead­ows and sourc­ing soya free pig feed to reduc­ing car­bon and using no arti­fi­cial fertilisers. 

Treg­ul­las Farm,Cornwall

Event 12pm – 4pm on 20th June – there are lim­it­ed spaces, so pre-book­ing is essential.

Address: Light House Road, The Lizard, Near Hel­ston, Corn­wall, TR12 7NL

About the farm: The most souther­ly farm in main­land UK at the Lizard Point, Treg­ul­las Farm in Corn­wall is part of the Lizard Nation­al Nature Reserve and SSSI (Site of Spe­cial Sci­en­tif­ic Inter­est) for wild flow­ers. A small herd of Dex­ter cat­tle graze the cliffs in win­ter where the rarest flow­ers grow. Cat­tle are selec­tive graz­ers and if man­aged well will keep the long grass down and allow the wild flow­ers to thrive. The farm is known for being in the loca­tion where the icon­ic chough returned to Corn­wall in 2001. Rona Amiss from Treg­ul­las Farm explains: To help our thriv­ing chough and bird pop­u­la­tion we have cat­tle that graze all year. We use no per­sis­tent worm­ers which helps inver­te­brates in the soil to thrive and pro­vide ade­quate feed for the birds. By cut­ting silage late and grow­ing cere­al crops with reduced seed rates, we are able to give sky larks and ground nest­ing birds the oppor­tu­ni­ty to nest. We also use herbal leys and mixed crop­ping to improve our soils, as well as plant field mar­gins and trees to keep our streams clean and healthy.” 

Vis­i­tors are invit­ed to vis­it Treg­ul­las Farm for a com­mu­ni­ty event which includes fun children’s activ­i­ties includ­ing mak­ing seed bombs with local­ly grown wild flower seeds. There will also be sheep shear­ing demon­stra­tions, talks about nat­ur­al wool, self-guid­ed farm walks, guid­ed pond dip­ping, bee and pol­li­na­tor dis­plays, a BBQ, a local food­mar­ket and much more.

Hamp­ton Estate Farms, Farnham

Event: 10.30am – 3.30pm on 27th June 2021

Address: The Estate Office, Elstead Rd, Seale, Farn­ham GU10 1JF

About the farm: The Hamp­ton Estate Farms form part of the Hamp­ton Estate, a tra­di­tion­al agri­cul­tur­al estate nestling on the south­ern side of the Hogs Back. They have a pedi­gree pas­ture fed beef herd and grow hops for region­al brew­eries through­out the UK

Bill Bid­dell from Hamp­ton Estate Farms explains how they farm sustainably: As cer­ti­fied Pas­ture for Life pro­duc­ers, we rear our cows with a regen­er­a­tive ethos which ensures our soils sequester car­bon. Our hop gar­dens in Put­ten­ham are the last remain­ing com­mer­cial hop gar­dens in Sur­rey and we con­tin­ue to grow high qual­i­ty tra­di­tion­al Fug­gle hops using the lat­est prac­tices such as Inte­grat­ed Pest Management. 

Our estate wood­lands extend to 1,170 acres and com­prise a mix of com­mer­cial conifer, chest­nut cop­pice and broadleaf plan­ta­tions. We active­ly man­age our wood­lands with­in a twen­ty-year long-term for­est plan agreed with the Forestry Com­mis­sion. We also aim to con­stant­ly increase our car­bon seques­tra­tion. As a bench­mark, we con­duct an annu­al car­bon audit across the entire estate which shows that that we have reached net zero emis­sions. Our exten­sive wood­land replant­i­ng, hedgerow cre­ation schemes and build­ing the soil organ­ic mat­ter in our pas­tures, ensure that we sequester more car­bon than we emit. 

The estate’s elec­tric­i­ty is gen­er­at­ed from 100% renew­able sources, and we recy­cle all our agri­cul­tur­al and com­mer­cial waste. We have two wood­chip bio­mass boil­ers, which pro­vide heat and hot water for our com­mer­cial offices and res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties. We use wood­chip from the estate to fuel the boil­ers, cre­at­ing a cir­cu­lar econ­o­my. There is a vari­ety of bio­di­verse habi­tats around the estate that are derived from the geol­o­gy of the area. The estate’s valu­able habi­tats are home to many pri­or­i­ty species includ­ing impor­tant bird species; night­jar, nightin­gale, wood­lark, red kites and buzzards.”

Vis­it Hamp­ton Estate Farms for LEAF Open Farm Sun­day and find out more about its regen­er­a­tive approach to farm­ing. Meet their pas­ture-fed cows, explore the beau­ti­ful wood­land trail, watch the forestry demon­stra­tion, learn about sus­tain­able soil man­age­ment vis­it the chick­ens and goats, watch the birds, learn about a for­est school, plant a tree, run wild on the hay-bale play­ground, sit in a trac­tor! Home-made Pas­ture Fed Pic­nics will be avail­able to buy on the day and for enjoy­ing in the pic­nic pad­dock. Each pic­nic fea­tures Hamp­ton Estate salt beef and sausages and tasty treats from local producers. 

To find out more about LEAF Open Farm Sun­day and how to book on to an event, please vis­it: https://​farm​sun​day​.org


You can read the full press release here.

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