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LEAF Open Farm Sunday announces plans for 2021

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), organisers of the farming industry’s annual open day, LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS), has today announced a year-round programme of public engagement to support this flagship event.

In addi­tion to LOFS on-farm events on the 13th June 2021, which have seen over a quar­ter of a mil­lion peo­ple vis­it farms across the UK each year, LEAF will also be host­ing a series of vir­tu­al’ farm vis­its online. Fol­low­ing last year’s suc­cess, when LOFS took to our screens for the first time, two online’ farm open days will take place this Spring and Autumn, along­side a pro­gramme of month­ly live broad­casts run­ning through­out the year. 

One of the unex­pect­ed pos­i­tives to emerge from the chal­lenges of lock­down’ has been the surge in inter­est in the coun­try­side, nature and buy­ing fresh pro­duce, and we have seen a high­er fol­low­ing than ever on our LOFS dig­i­tal chan­nels,” said LOFS Man­ag­er Ms Shack­le­ton. This is the per­fect moment to cap­ture the public’s curios­i­ty and build our out­reach to ben­e­fit the whole industry.”

While await­ing clar­i­ty on Covid reg­u­la­tions on pub­lic gath­er­ings and events, LOFS Man­ag­er, Annabel Shack­le­ton, is urg­ing farm­ers to start think­ing about how they can host vis­i­tors on-farm in June, which will be the 15th anniver­sary LEAF Open Farm Sunday:

As vis­i­tor num­bers for events may be lim­it­ed, we would love to see a greater num­ber of farms open­ing their gates but for small­er groups, so that social dis­tanc­ing can be fol­lowed. We’re encour­ag­ing host farm­ers to think about how to max­imise out­door spaces: it could be a farm walk, a scav­enger hunt or a short show-and-tell in the yard. It may also be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to col­lab­o­rate with oth­er food pro­duc­ers to pro­vide a place for peo­ple to buy and try new local foods.”

Farm­ers have some impor­tant top­i­cal mes­sages to share about qual­i­ty food pro­duc­tion, car­ing for the coun­try­side, plus the eco­nom­ic and envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits of buy­ing British – and we want to help facil­i­tate these conversations.”

The library of free LOFS resources and online work­shops planned for March will help to make host­ing eas­i­er and facil­i­tate ideas shar­ing between the net­work of expe­ri­enced and new hosts. Plus, a free, easy-to-use tick­et­ing ser­vice is avail­able so host farm­ers can man­age vis­i­tor num­bers and con­tact vis­i­tors if there are any changes in plans, said Mrs Shackleton:

While not essen­tial, this is a good year for host farm­ers to use the tick­et­ing ser­vice so they can keep in con­tact with vis­i­tors if plans need to change, but equal­ly to set expec­ta­tions and encour­age them to adhere to farm and Covid-safe reg­u­la­tions. It also allows hosts to lim­it vis­i­tors per hour or per day to help them to man­age their event more eas­i­ly.”

The series of vir­tu­al farm vis­its online is designed to extend the oppor­tu­ni­ties for more peo­ple to con­nect with farm­ing through­out the year and for more farm­ers to participate. 

Two LEAF Online Farm Sun­day events, on Sun­day 28th March and Sun­day 26th Sep­tem­ber, will each include an after­noon of live vir­tu­al farm tours on Face­book @LEAFOpenFarmSunday, fea­tur­ing a range of dif­fer­ent farms span­ning the coun­try and shin­ing a spot­light on all farm­ing sectors. 

In addi­tion, month­ly farm vis­its broad­cast live on Face­book will fea­ture a dif­fer­ent farm on the first Sun­day of each month, start­ing on 7th Feb­ru­ary, adding to the kalei­do­scope of farm­ing sto­ries shared with the public. 

All these activ­i­ties will pro­mote a greater under­stand­ing of the dif­fer­ent aspects of agri­cul­ture such as pro­duc­tive soils, ani­mal wel­fare, clean water and air, pub­lic access and enhanc­ing biodiversity.

These on-farm and online events are at the heart of the new LEAF Open Farm Sun­day three-year strat­e­gy to ensure a con­tin­ued pos­i­tive impact on the whole farm­ing indus­try and enrich­ing the under­stand­ing of wider soci­ety to act as glob­al cit­i­zens sup­port­ing cli­mate pos­i­tive farm­ing and food production.

The main social media chan­nels used across the cam­paign will be Face­book, Twit­ter and Insta­gram and LOFS is ask­ing farm­ers to post and share on these days using the hash­tag #LOFS21 to cre­ate a diverse, colour­ful and authen­tic pic­ture of UK farm­ing for the public.

Read our 3 year strat­e­gy, find out more and reg­is­ter to host LEAF Open Farm Sun­day in June 2021.

Click here for the full press release. 


For fur­ther infor­ma­tion and images please con­tact Susan­nah Pâté or Rebec­ca Dawes at Jane Craigie Mar­ket­ing on: susannah@​janecraigie.​com 07841 194 897 or rebecca@​janecraigie.​com or 07792 467730

LOFS Social media

Face­book: @LEAFOpenFarmSunday
Twit­ter: @OpenFarmSunday
Insta­gram: @OpenFarmSunday

Sum­ma­ry of LOFS21 activities

  • LEAF Open Farm Sun­day, 13th June 2021fif­teenth anniver­sary LOFS. Farm­ers across the British Isles are encour­aged to open their farm gates, fol­low social dis­tanc­ing reg­u­la­tions, and wel­come vis­i­tors onto farms to find out about the world of farming.
  • LEAF Online Farm Sun­day, 28th March 2021 & 26th Sep­tem­ber 2021 – two Sun­days packed with vir­tu­al farm tours, videos, pho­tos and farm­ing sto­ries broad­cast across social media to give the pub­lic an insight into dif­fer­ent farm enter­pris­es — all in a day!
  • 1st Sun­day of each month, more vir­tu­al farm vis­its – broad­cast live on LOFS Face­book, fea­tur­ing a dif­fer­ent farmer each month through­out the year.

Edi­tors’ notes: 

  • LEAF Open Farm Sun­day is man­aged by LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing) — the lead­ing organ­i­sa­tion deliv­er­ing and pro­mot­ing Cli­mate Pos­i­tive action, thriv­ing, resilient and exem­plar agro-eco­log­i­cal farm­ing at an increas­ing­ly glob­al lev­el. Work­ing with farm­ers, the food indus­try, sci­en­tists, envi­ron­men­tal­ists, teach­ers, young peo­ple and con­sumers we are look­ing at new ways to deliv­er pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and pros­per­i­ty among our farm­ers, enrich the envi­ron­ment and engage young peo­ple and soci­ety in a valu­able and mean­ing­ful way. LEAF set up and has man­aged LEAF Open Farm Sun­day since it began in 2006. (LEAF is a reg­is­tered char­i­ty no: 1045781
  • LEAF Open Farm Sun­day 2021 will take place on 13th June 2021. If there are tighter restric­tions due to Covid, anoth­er dig­i­tal day of vir­tu­al farm tours will be organ­ised. Reg­is­ter to host an event at www​.farm​sun​day​.org.
  • LEAF Online Farm Sun­day vir­tu­al farm tours will take place on Sun­day 28th March and 26th Sep­tem­ber, live on Face­book @LEAFOpenFarmSunday, and across Twit­ter @OpenFarmSunday and Insta­gram @OpenFarmSunday
  • Spon­sors of LEAF Open Farm Sun­day include: AHDB, Arla Foods, Asda, BASF, Co-op, Defra, Farm­ers Week­ly, Fron­tier Agri­cul­ture, John Deere, Kellogg’s, LEAF Mar­que, NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
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