Managed By LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Logo
LEAF Open Farm Sunday Logo

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…

2,000 acre farm | East England | 1100 visitors

Reach­ing out to customers

As a busi­ness, we have want­ed to do LEAF Open Farm Sun­day for a few years now but have held back due to the num­ber of oth­er farms in the area that open. In the past, we’ve attend­ed neigh­bour­ing events and helped out so we had a good idea what it was all about. In 2017, we decid­ed to hold our own event.


Plan­ning, prepa­ra­tion and promotion 

We start­ed plan­ning ear­ly in Novem­ber – get­ting a head start def­i­nite­ly pays off; you can’t leave any­thing to the last minute. Peo­ple come expect­ing a lot and you have to deliv­er. Health and Safe­ty was an area of con­cern. I did as much prepa­ra­tion as I could, com­plet­ed my risk assess­ment and picked up some good tips from the LEAF webi­na­rs. We even had St Johns Ambu­lance attend­ing on the day but they were only need­ed to apply one plaster! 

We knew from the start that we want­ed to organ­ise a large event so we used Face­book and Twit­ter to spread the word and adver­tised the event in the local press. We also ran a poster com­pe­ti­tion with five local pri­ma­ry schools in advance of our event, which gen­er­at­ed a lot of inter­est. The LEAF Open Farm Sun­day web­site was very use­ful as were all the free posters, fly­ers and road­side banners.

Our event

About 1100 vis­i­tors attend­ed on the day, which we were real­ly pleased with. In terms of activ­i­ties, we offered two trac­tor and trail­er rides with a mem­ber of staff talk­ing about the farm, machin­ery dis­plays and the local vin­tage machin­ery mem­bers were on hand as well. We enlist­ed sup­port from a num­ber of com­pa­nies we work with includ­ing Fron­tier Agri­cul­ture and the Co-op which gave vis­i­tors a more in depth under­stand­ing of the busi­ness as a whole. Local farm­ing busi­ness­es also got involved includ­ing Nay­lor Flow­ers who did a flower dis­play and Emmets who edu­cat­ed vis­i­tors about kale production.


Doing it again

We def­i­nite­ly intend to take part again. LEAF Open Farm Sun­day is a fan­tas­tic way to bring you in direct con­tact with your cus­tomers. As a busi­ness, there is no doubt that it brought a lot of ben­e­fits. Start­ing your plan­ning ear­ly is the key. As there are oth­er local farms who take part host­ing large events, we will do it on a rota­tion­al basis, which real­ly helps to spread the work load. I think for some farm­ers, it could be the fear fac­tor’ that is stop­ping them open­ing; expos­ing your­self to the pub­lic can be quite daunt­ing. To them I would say, the expe­ri­ence was extreme­ly reward­ing and very positive. 


Back to case studies

Sign up to our mailing list(s)

You are now subscribed!

You are signed up to the mailing list(s) you selected.

If you no longer wish to receive emails from us, every email we send contains a link at the bottom allowing you to unsubscribe with one click. Privacy Policy.

Already have an account?

If you are already registered on this site, or you have an existing myLEAF account, then please log in below.

To register or edit your Open Farm Sunday event you will need an account. Privacy Policy.

Log in

Forgot password?

Don't have an account?

Not to worry, you can create an account by clicking the button below. Privacy Policy.

Create Account

Create an account

Creating an account is quick and easy. Simply enter your details below and we'll send you a username and password by email straight away.

To register or edit your LEAF Open Farm Sunday event you will need an account.

Your new account details will log you into both Open Farm Sunday and myLEAF. Privacy Policy.

Back to login

Account creation complete

Please check your email for a message containing your new username and password.

You can use these details to log into both Open Farm Sunday and myLEAF. Privacy Policy.

Once logged in to myLEAF for the first time, it is advisable to change your password to something memorable via the 'My Profile' page.

Back to login

Forgot password

Back to login

Forgot password

Details of your account have been sent to your email address.