Case studies, vlogs and blogs
We have a wide range of case studies, vlogs and blogs from farmers across the UK who have taken part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday. Scroll down to read or listen to their stories below.
Teresa Pickworth shares how she organises a farm walk for LEAF Open Farm Sunday:
Northmoor Meat, Churchills Farm, West Oxfordshire
James and his wife Fiona farm in Northmoor, just 14 miles from the City Centre of Oxford. The 470-acre enterprise includes 33 Pedigree Ruby Red Devon cattle, 170 Highlander ewes, 140 acres of spring crops, Countryside Stewardship, and the River Thames, which runs through the meadows grazed by the livestock.
Leigh and Donya Donger, Peacock Farm
Arable farmers Leigh and Donya Donger, who farm 1700 acres of oilseed rape, beans, barley and wheat at Peacock Farm near Muston in Leicestershire, are opening their farm again this year after the success of their first LEAF Open Farm Sunday event in 2022.
Kypie Farm, North Northumberland
Anne Mair-Chapman, along with her family run a tenanted farm in North Northumberland with 372 acres of mixed sheep and arable. In the foothills of the Cheviots, Anne comments “the view are outstanding, it’s such a beautifully part of the country” Her parents are still in the farmhouse, and as one of three, Anne has stayed on the farm whilst her two brothers pursued different careers off-farm.
Hampton Estate Farms, Surrey
Once a dairy farm, today grass-fed beef and hops are at the heart of Hampton Estate’s farming enterprise, which also includes forestry, let arable land, and a pop-up, off-grid campsite. Farming that promotes environmental and social sustainability is core to the Hampton ethos.
Martin & Arlene Fishwick, Low Bankside Farm, Lancashire
NFU members, Martin and Arlene farm across Cumbria and North Lancashire, and regularly welcome visitors to Low Bankside Farm for Open Farm Sunday. It’s a family run farm producing suckler calves and prime lambs, with a small herd of traditional and rare breed cattle used mainly for conservation grazing. Plus, they have a small dairy herd.
Jean Glennie, Hillhead of Ardo
For members of the public, the word ‘Christmas’ is rarely mentioned in June, but at Jean and Roger Glennie’s Open Farm Sunday event at Hillhead of Ardo in Methlick, Aberdeenshire, the festive period is a key focus with the aim to educate the local community on the ‘farming’ side of Christmas. Here, Jean explains more…
Jamie McCoy, Gorwel Farm
Jamie McCoy and her partner Deian Evans run Gorwel Farm in Bryngwyn, West Wales. Gorwel is a family farm, milking 170 dairy cows on an autumn calving grass-based system, they have a flock of 150 commercial sheep, and a very small pig enterprise. Jamie also works off the farm for AHDB Dairy supporting dairy farmers to improve business competitiveness and is our LOFS Coordinator for Wales. Here is her story…
Didcot Farm, Dumbleton
Tanya Robbins, along with husband Tom run a herd of 30 beef suckler cows, flock of 300 mule and 300 easy care ewes, plus 300 acres of arable land near the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire border. With a real passion for promoting the agricultural industry, Tanya signed up to take part in her first LEAF Open Farm Sunday in 2017 and is now a strong advocate for the annual event. Here are her reasons for getting involved
John Scott, Fearn Farm
Telling farming’s story and opening your farmgate to the public could help address the employment crisis in the sector according to Highland farmer John Scott.
Martin Kennedy, Lurgan Farm
Opening the farm gates to the public – I’ve got the bug writes NFUS Vice President Martin Kennedy.
Uncle Henry’s, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire
Uncle Henry's is a family run farm shop, butchery and café at Grayingham Grange Farm where they grow wheat and barley alongside rearing pigs. Uncle Henry’s have taken part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday for 13 years. Emma Jones is the PR & Event Manager at Uncle Henry’s and here she shares their experience and details how they organise their event.
Hillhead of Muirton, Roddy and Angela Catto,
A well-known North East dairy farm is throwing open its gates to the public and local schoolchildren as part of the forthcoming Open Farm Sunday celebration. Roddy and Angela Catto, who farm at Hillhead of Muirton, Whitecairns, near Dyce have invited local schoolchildren to visit the farm on Friday 15 June. A day later (Saturday 16 June), the farm invites all members of the public to come along.
River Croft, Farr, Inverness-Shire
River Croft is a 22 acre croft in the foot hills of the Monadhliath Mountains. For the last 4 years, Michelle and her husband have bred and raised pedigree Oxford Sandy & Black pigs to pork weight, Greyface Dartmoor sheep and Cayuga ducks. They held their first LEAF Open Farm Sunday event in 2017 and in 2018 started using the ticketing service to effectively manage visitor numbers.
Ali Capper, Stocks Farm, Herefordshire/Worcestershire
Ali Capper runs Stocks Farm, a 200 year old hop and fruit farm on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border, in partnership with her husband and father in law. The farm has been in the Capper family for more than half a century and is proud to be one of the UK's leading hop producers. Part of their commitment to farming sustainably is to develop the family business in a way that involves and benefits the local community. Getting involved in LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the first time in 2017, was a key part of this. Ali Capper tells us more…
Teresa Pickworth, Whitacre Hall, Coleshill, West Midlands
Teresa Pickworth and her husband Carl farm Whitacre Hall, near Coleshill in the West Midlands. The 380 acre arable farm is working towards gaining mid-tier stewardship, with ancient woodland, ponds and traditional English bluebells just some of the features on the farm which they want to share with visitors. They took part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the first time in 2017.
Nick Hendy, Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm, Langford Budville, Somerset
Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm is a family run 40 acre farm near Langford Budville in Somerset. Always looking at ways to make the business stand out from their competitors and help boost sales, the Hendy family, Reg and Ann, and their sons and daughters-in-law Shaun & Trudy and Nick & Clare, opened for LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the first time in 2017. Here Nick tells us why they decided to take part and how it has benefitted the business.
James Lumley, Oldershaws of Moulton Ltd, Lincolnshire
Oldershaws of Moulton Ltd is a 2,000 acre business growing onions and shallots for Moulton Bulb Company Ltd in addition to processing and packing potatoes and other traditional Lincolnshire crops of winter wheat, peas and sugar beet. Potatoes go to all major UK supermarkets including Asda, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and the Co-op. As part of the farms overall strategy to become more customer driven and improve transparency with customers, the farm opened for LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the first time in 2017. Farm Manager, James Lumley explains more…
Carolyne and Somerset Charrington, Treshnish Farm, Isle of Mull
The Charrington family have been farming at Treshnish since 1994, and since then, they have seen the bio-diversity and wildlife improve dramatically. Treshnish is a hill farm with a flock of around 550 Blackface, Cheviot and a few Herdwicks ewes. It is managed to protect and encourage biodiversity. We have a small herd of cattle which graze during the summer months. We make bird friendly late cut silage and do not use artificial fertilisers.
David and Joanna Lomas, Street Farm, Tarvin, Cheshire, North West
David, Joanna and their son, Michael run Street Farm in Tarvin, Cheshire - a family-run dairy farm selling milk to a commercial dairy in Manchester as well as directly from the farm gate through a vending machine. The family had never opened the farm before and took part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the first time in 2017. Here, Joanna shares with us their first experience of hosting a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event…
Philip Chamberlain, Crowmarsh Battle Farms Ltd, Oxfordshire
Philip runs a 3,200 acre arable farm south east of Oxford, growing a range of combinable crops. He has been hosting visits to his farm since 1996 and each year hosts an 'invitation only' Open Farm Sunday event.
Ian and David Collison, J A Collison & Sons, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Ian, Diane and Philip Collison from family-run cut flower supplier, J A Collison & Sons decided to keep their Open Farm Sunday event small and simple.
Ross Mitchell, Castleton Farm, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Ross Mitchell runs Castleton Farm near Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, with his parents and wife Anna. Castleton Farm is a 710 acre family run business devoted to fruit production growing strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blueberries, supplying leading supermarket chains such as Tesco and Marks & Spencer. There is also a thriving Farm Shop and Café selling home grown fruit and locally sourced produce. Ross tells us about why he got involved with Open Farm Sunday for the first time last year and shares some of his personal top tips for a successful event…
Andrew Bailey, Moulton College, Northants
Moulton College in Northamptonshire currently farms 509 hectares. All this land is farmed commercially and used extensively for teaching purposes to support the college’s aim of providing high quality, practical education and training with a commercial focus. Crops grown include winter wheat, winter oilseed rape, malting barley, short and long-term leys and stubble turnips for autumn sheep. Whilst the college is often open to the public for careers evenings, before taking part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday in 2017, the farm itself had not opened to the public for a number of years. Andrew Bailey, Assistant Director of Student Services, explains more...
Abi Reader, Goldsland Farm, Glamorganshire
Abi Reader is a third generation dairy farmer who manages a herd of 180 Holstein Friesian and Dairy Shorthorns in Glamorganshire, South Wales. Abi always looks for ways to educate people and has mentored many agricultural and veterinary students on Goldsland Farm, Wenvoe. For someone who claims she is ‘not really a people person’, her passion for finding ways to reach out to consumers is remarkable – including speaking with Chris Evans live on his Radio 2 breakfast show! Here’s her story about taking part in LEAF Open Farm Sunday for the first time…
Jeremy Durrant, E W Davies Farms Ltd, Essex
Jeremy Durrant manages E W Davies Farms Ltd, a 1300 hectare family owned arable business based in Essex and specialising in contract farming, growing a range of combinable crops as well as a flock of Polled Dorset sheep. As both a LEAF Demonstration Farm and a LEAF Marque certified business, Jeremy is proud to showcase how he is combining profitable farming with environmental care.
Rob and Alec Mercer, Packington Pork, Staffordshire
Packington Pork is one of the leading large-scale free-range pig businesses in the UK. Based just outside Lichfield in Staffordshire, the farm has held a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event for the last four years. Managing Director, Rob Mercer, tells us more about their event and how LEAF Open Farm Sunday is helping to raise the profile of the pig industry and encourage a new generation of farmers into the sector.
Simon Day, Worth Farms, South Lincolnshire
Simon Day is Farm Manager at Worth Farms in Holbeach Marsh, South Lincolnshire, an all arable farm growing potatoes, vining peas, wheat, sugar beet, brassicas, salads and energy crops. As a LEAF Demonstration Farm, they have a long commitment of reaching out to the general public and promoting British agriculture and have been involved in LEAF Open Farm Sunday since it started in 2006. Simon shares his experiences in running a large event and explains the value of Open Farm Sunday in building community relations and raising the profile of the farming industry...
Mark Coulman, Hall Farm, Lincolnshire
Mark Coulman runs Hall Farm, a 235 hectare enterprise near Eastoft in Lincolnshire. It holds 2,000 fattening pigs as well as a number of alpacas and chickens. A variety of crops are also grown including winter wheat, sugar beet, potatoes and oilseed rape. The farm is also run as a care farm and education facility. Mark tells us about his first LEAF Open Farm Sunday event in 2017.
Tom Martin, G Martin & Sons, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Tom runs a mixed sheep and arable farm set in and around the beautiful Cambridgeshire village of Haddon, near Peterborough. He and his wife, Lisa are passionate about the local community and showing people what happens the other side of the farm gate throughout the year. They have pioneered a new approach to linking up farmers with schools called ‘Farmer Time’. Tom took part in Open Farm Sunday for the first time in 2017, here he explains more about his event and how it is all part of his determination to connect people with their food and how it is produced.
Jane and Adam Mason, Lyne Mhor Croft, near Gorthleck
Lyne Mhor Croft near Gorthleck, 22 miles north of Inverness is run by Jane Mason and her husband, Adam, with their focus on producing and promoting “farm to fork” produce from their rare breed animals. First opening their gates for LEAF Open Farm Sunday in 2016, the small croft stretches no further than three and a half acres and Jane tells us why no farm is too big, or, in this case too small to open their gates and host the event.
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