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1st time host farmers

We realise that the thought of opening your farm for LEAF Open Farm Sunday can raise a lot of questions, so here we have tried to give you some answers and guidance on holding an event for the first time.

What is LEAF Open Farm Sunday?

LEAF Open Farm Sun­day gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to wel­come the pub­lic onto your farm and show them what farm­ing is all about, so that vis­i­tors can ful­ly appre­ci­ate and val­ue the work you do. It was set up in 2006 and con­tin­ues to be man­aged by LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farming).

What do I have to offer?

Every farm has a sto­ry to tell – your work on the farm, the crops you grow and what they are used for, the sea­son­al­i­ty of pro­duce, the jour­ney of your prod­uct from farm to fork (or how­ev­er it impacts on our lives eg. fuel), your farm machin­ery, how you man­age your soil, water and habi­tats for wildlife, the his­to­ry of your farm. Your vis­i­tors will be fas­ci­nat­ed to learn about the every­day activ­i­ties you do on the farm.

Why would I take part?

Research shows that get­ting peo­ple out onto a farm to meet a farmer and see real farm­ing up close has a huge pos­i­tive impact: chang­ing people’s atti­tudes to buy­ing more British pro­duced food; build­ing com­mu­ni­ty rela­tions; edu­cat­ing the pub­lic, rais­ing the pro­file of your farm and the whole farm­ing industry.

Now, more than ever, farm­ers need to gain pub­lic sup­port for the vital work you do and LEAF Open Farm Sun­day pro­vides the ide­al plat­form to do just this. Join hun­dreds of farm­ers across Britain and take part in the farm­ing industry’s annu­al open day.

This web­site has lots of infor­ma­tion to help you start think­ing about organ­is­ing an event for LEAF Open Farm Sun­day. Make sure you reg­is­ter your event then you will receive the Open Farm Sun­day Hand­book packed with lots of hints and tips to help you organ­ise an event.

Inter­est­ed, but not ready to reg­is­ter yet?

If you’re keen to host an event, but you’re not ready to reg­is­ter yet, why not sign up to our mail­ing list at the foot of this page and we’ll keep you up to date with our plans, and give you an occa­sion­al nudge to help you get started! 

Take part…

If you have any ques­tions or want to speak with an expe­ri­enced host farmer please get in touch with LEAF: 024 7641 3911 [email protected]​leafuk.​org. When you’re ready, please reg­is­ter your event here.

Do you want to talk it through?

Do you have ques­tions or would like to know more? We’d be hap­py to help so please call the LEAF office 024 7641 3911 or email us: [email protected]​leafuk.​org.

What host farm­ers said…

  • Awe­some result. We found that peo­ple are gen­uine­ly inter­est­ed in what we do.”
  • Best ever Open Farm Sun­day. Farm was packed. Love­ly atmosphere.”
  • A fan­tas­tic event with a steady flow of vis­i­tors through­out the day. Real­ly pos­i­tive feed­back from young and old. A great com­mu­ni­ty rela­tions’ event, and helps to improve the public’s under­stand­ing of agriculture.”
  • It was a good oppor­tun­tiy for peo­ple who are aware of our farm and have heard of us to actu­al­ly come and vis­it and get clos­er to the animals.”

What vis­i­tors said…

  • The tech­nol­o­gy now for milk­ing cows is amaz­ing! I had no idea!”
  • That all the brus­sels sprouts grown had already been sold — all 48 acres of them!”
  • The role of robot­ic milk­ing, feed­ing the ani­mals, repro­duc­tion of pigs, anato­my of a cow, sheep shear­ing and price of its coat — it was end­less — I learnt so much!!!”
  • How much LEAF Mar­que farm­ers do to help the environment.”
  • Some of the equip­ment is so expen­sive that it is shared.”
  • Just how farm­ers real­ly pull togeth­er to make these events as great as they pos­si­bly can.”
  • To sum it up in one sen­tence — a phe­nom­e­nal and edu­ca­tion­al day out. Girls and me would come again.”

The essen­tials

As a LEAF Open Farm Sun­day host farmer, we ask you to: 

  • Show­case to vis­i­tors good farm­ing prac­tices, how farm­ing impacts on our lives and how you man­age our nat­ur­al resources
  • Inform your insur­ance com­pa­ny that you are open­ing on LEAF Open Farm Sun­day and have a min­i­mum of £5 mil­lion pub­lic lia­bil­i­ty insur­ance cover
  • Com­plete a risk assess­ment before the event and ensure health and safe­ty arrange­ments will be in place on the day
  • Pro­vide ade­quate hand wash­ing facil­i­ties espe­cial­ly if you have live­stock or will be serv­ing food

New resource packages

We offer 3 dif­fer­ent sizes of resource pack­ages for any farmer who may not be sure on what type of resources, or quan­ti­ties of resources, they might use at their event.

Remem­ber a small farm walk is just as impor­tant as a larg­er event.

Do what suits you and your farm…

LEAF Open Farm Sun­day is com­plete­ly flex­i­ble so that all farm­ers can get involved – whether you host a pri­vate event or pub­lic event, a farm walk or a full open day. It is up to you to decide what you are com­fort­able organ­is­ing, what you would like to share with the pub­lic – to suit you and your farm. So, if it is your first LEAF Open Farm Sun­day you can keep it as small and sim­ple as you want.

About the visitors

Each year hun­dreds of vis­i­tors com­plete our vis­i­tor sur­vey. Here is some insight into the poten­tial vis­i­tors who might attend your event.

  • 49:51 urban rur­al split; from: City (10%); Town (39%); Vil­lage (36%); Coun­try­side (15%)
  • 59% of vis­i­tors were vis­it­ing their first OFS event
  • 18% of vis­i­tors had nev­er vis­it­ed a farm before
  • 86% of vis­i­tors learnt some­thing new dur­ing their visit
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, 74% of vis­i­tors rat­ed the event as excel­lent (5)
  • The major­i­ty of vis­i­tors (69%) spend between 1 & 3 hours at the event; data: up to 1 hour 4%; 1 – 2 hours 36%; 2 – 3 hours 33%; 3 – 4 hours 18%; 4 – 5 hours 7%; over 5 hours 3%

The main rea­sons for attend­ing a LEAF Open Farm Sun­day event were:

  • 48% I want­ed to show my sup­port for British farmers
  • 34% I want­ed to find out more about British farm­ing and what farm­ers do
  • 25% A free day out
  • 16% Educate/​entertain family

Num­ber of vis­i­tors per event:

  • Small­est LEAF Open Farm Sun­day event had 8 vis­i­tors; the largest events had over 5000 visitors
  • Aver­age 762 vis­i­tors per event

Thou­sands of vis­i­tors expressed their thanks to the farm­ers involved, call­ing the day unex­pect­ed and very much appre­ci­at­ed”, well organ­ised”, a phe­nom­e­nal and edu­ca­tion­al day out” and the best day out in a long time for the family”.

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