LEAF Open Farm Sunday Search

Open Farm Sunday

I’m worried about the weather putting a stop to many of the activities we have during our usual Open Farm Sunday event. What activities can I do that have bad weather contingency plans?

Have a Plan B for bad weath­er but don’t let it ruin your day. Inevitably rain espe­cial­ly, or cold, will mean that few­er peo­ple will come, and you will almost cer­tain­ly need less park­ing, vol­un­teers and few­er refresh­ments. How­ev­er, you can lessen the impact of bad weath­er by stress­ing in your pub­lic­i­ty mate­r­i­al that (assum­ing this is the case) there is still plen­ty to see and do under­cov­er or indoors, that where pos­si­ble dis­plays / machin­ery / activ­i­ties will be moved into a barn etc. Sug­gest peo­ple dress appro­pri­ate­ly if the weath­er is poor. Come the mid­dle of Sep­tem­ber, check the sev­en-day fore­cast for your area and keep checking!

Is there a guide to help farmers opening for Open Farm Sunday?

Yes, once you have reg­is­tered you will be sent the OFS hand­book that has all sorts of use­ful infor­ma­tion to help you organ­ise a suc­cess­ful Open Farm Sun­day event. It also has a tem­plate risk assess­ment and lots of top tips on how to ensure your event is engag­ing and safe. 

How should I prepare for my event?

Plan your route by tak­ing account of the inter­ests and needs of your vis­i­tors, time avail­able, dis­tance, weath­er. Put signs up at the entrance, for park­ing, toi­lets etc. and if pos­si­ble have give-aways’ ready – farm facts, leaflets, stick­ers, maps. If you oper­ate guid­ed tours or trail­er rides, put a sign up say­ing where the activ­i­ties will start from and when… good com­mu­ni­ca­tion with vis­i­tors helps them find their way.

How can I get others involved in my event?

To spread the work­load and demon­strate the breadth of knowl­edge, skills and exper­tise in farm­ing — team up with your farm­ing neigh­bours, agron­o­mist, vet, con­ser­va­tion advi­sor etc. You could ask them to be a part of your event, to say a few words on the farm tour to give you some breath­ing space! The may also be able to use their mar­ket­ing skills to help pub­li­cise your event. You could also involve oth­er local peo­ple and groups in the com­mu­ni­ty to get involved such as Young Farm­ers, the Scouts etc.

How much should I charge visitors to my event?

We don’t envis­age an entry fee for Open Farm Sun­day events. How­ev­er, if you want to raise funds have a cause that is close to your heart such as a local char­i­ty, or charge for spe­cif­ic activ­i­ties such as trac­tor and trail­er rides, make sure you make that clear on your web­site entry and on your pub­lic­i­ty material.

What Health and Safety measures should I consider?

Health and Safe­ty is impor­tant but it should not over­shad­ow your day. The key is to assess the risks and plan around them. We’ve com­piled some of the key infor­ma­tion and gold­en rules for you, along with a tem­plate risk assess­ment which many host farm­ers find very use­ful, find out more here.

How should I direct visitors around my event?

Let the char­ac­ters from Shaun the Sheep help your vis­i­tors find their way around your farm and encour­age them to keep their hands clean. We’ve got lots of signs for you to down­load and print out.

If pos­si­ble have a map of the farm on hand or have vol­un­teers at the entrance to help direct visitors.

How should I communicate with visitors to the event?

Make it mem­o­rable: Using props and hands on activ­i­ties real­ly helps vis­i­tors’ to remem­ber their day. LEAF have also pro­duced a book­let with step by step instruc­tions for 12 oth­er activ­i­ties to help make farm walks and talks mem­o­rable, fun and inter­ac­tive. The web­site Farm­ing is Mag­ic’ also has lots of great ideas and short video clips to inspire you to host engag­ing on farm vis­its — the site has been devel­oped by expe­ri­enced OFS hosts, David Jones and Susie Emmett. 

Make the link between your farm and people’s fridges: Always start off from plate to plough and make your sto­ry rel­e­vant to your audi­ences’ lives. If you process your own food have it out on dis­play or buy some that could have been pro­duced on your farm to help vis­i­tors make the link

Keep it per­son­al — Your vis­i­tors are far more like­ly to remem­ber sto­ries about you, your fam­i­ly, your ani­mals, why you love farm­ing, why you want­ed to become a farmer. They are less like­ly to remem­ber how many acres you farm, num­ber of cows, crops and spe­cif­ic stew­ard­ship options

Being pos­i­tive, pre­pared and jar­gon free - If you get a tricky ques­tion, do not try and answer on behalf of the indus­try, but keep it per­son­al to your farm which is far more positive.

How should I publicise my event?

Event size and pub­lic­i­ty — There is a range of dif­fer­ent ways you can pub­li­cise your event to get the num­bers you would like. Whether you’re want­i­ng a small scale event for a select few peo­ple, an event for the mass­es, or some­where in between, we’ve got some use­ful infor­ma­tion show­ing you how you can get the num­bers you want. Read more

Pho­tos don’t for­get to take lots of pho­tos of your event and send them to us ([email protected]) We’d love to see them shared with us on social media too. We’re on Twit­ter (@openfarmsunday) and Face­book (www​.face​book​.com/​L​E​A​F​O​p​e​n​F​a​r​m​S​unday). If you plan to take pho­tographs or video of vis­i­tors for any mar­ket­ing or pro­mo­tion­al activ­i­ty (such as web­sites, Face­book, send­ing to your local media, leaflets, etc.) you should get con­sent from vis­i­tors. We have pro­duced some mate­ri­als to help which you can find in our down­load section.

If you have any more ques­tions please get in touch with the Open Farm Sun­day team at Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing:
Tel: 024 7641 3911
Email: [email protected]

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