Open Farm Sunday
Can I still hold my event in June?
Some of you may be unable to host an event on 20th September, that’s fine, you can simply run your LOFS event any other weekend in September - just note it in your event registration. LOFS will be running under the same format as it does in June, so anyone that wishes to open on an alternative date that month can do so. Please note, all national PR promoting LEAF Open Farm Sunday will promote the 20th September.
On Farm Events held in June will not be considered an official LOFS event. LEAF strongly urge you to postpone your event to September, or the following year - 13th June 2021.
I’ve already registered for LOFS 2020 and I’m happy to run my event on 20th September instead of in June, do I need to change my registration, or will this be done automatically?
Your registration will automatically be transferred to the 20th September date. If you wish to cancel your event, please email [email protected] and we’ll sort this for you.
You will still be able to edit your event and change details as normal on the system. Log in using your username and password and go into ‘my account’ followed by ‘my events’ and edit from there.
I can still host an event in September, but due to the time of year, it can’t be as I normally would, can I change the format of my event, for example to a small farm walk?
Of course! You can change the type of event you want to run - you don’t have to stick with your usual format. If you wish to change any aspect of your event, make sure you edit your event details in your LOFS registration. You can also opt to take it off the LOFS website to stop advertising your event publicly. If you have any problems please email [email protected], and someone will be able to help.
I’ve already ordered resources for LEAF Open Farm Sunday in June. Do I need to return the resources that have a date on them?
All resources that are undated, save for your event in September and future years! We’re sorry but the paper resources dated 7th June will need to be reused or recycled - do consider giving them ot your local youth group, playgroup or school as the plain back can be used for drawing or arts and crafts activities. We will create more printed paper resources for you to order from the online shop closer to the time.
My road banner has June written on it. Will one be available that says September?
Running LOFS in September is a one off. We are looking to purchase some sticky back patches so you can stick them over the existing ‘June’ . Our correx road signs have had a redesign this year, so although small, you can also write the date on these in permanent marker pen if needed.
I’m sure you appreciate that these are challenging times and we are doing all we can to facilitate the running of LOFS 2020 in a format as normal and cost effective as possible.
I’m worried about the weather putting a stop to many of the activities we have during our usual LEAF 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!
I’d love to host LOFS in September but am worried harvest won’t be over and therefore I’ll be too busy. Can I still register and then cancel if needs be?
Yes! We would encourage you to register and run a small event that could be possible if harvest is trailing. Plan a farm tour and let people see from a distance what harvest is all about – it would be a rare opportunity for the public to see and hear about harvest in action.
Cancellation is always an option if absolutely necessary so please do keep this in mind when planning your event.
We would recommend you use the LEAF Open Farm Sunday ticketing service so that visitors book online to attend your event. You will be given visitors email addresses through this process so you can contact them via email if plans change!
When will the online shop be open again to start ordering resources for September?
The online shop will be re-opening in June - all registered host farmers will be emailed when it is open again.
I can’t normally run an event in June as it clashes with things going on with the farm and other events. Can I host an event in September every year if this one goes well?
Time will tell. I’m afraid we can’t plan anything regarding running an LOFS event in September in future years just yet. We’ll see how this year goes and if there is high demand to offer a September event then we will consider this closer to the time.
What happens if the UK is still in the same position in September regarding Covid-19 as it is now? I don’t want to organise my whole event again and then be struck by the same predicament in a few months’ time.
I’m sure you understand that these are unprecedented times. We will monitor the situation very carefully over the weeks and months ahead. Rest assured, if the situation changes, we will let you know in good time and communications will be sent out accordingly.
However, we sincerely hope that LEAF Open Farm Sunday will be running in September.
Is there a guide to help farmers opening for LEAF Open Farm Sunday?
Yes, once you have registered you will be sent the LOFS handbook that has all sorts of useful information to help you organise a successful LEAF 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 LOFS 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.facebook.com/LEAFOpenFarmSunday). 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 LEAF Open Farm Sunday team at Linking Environment And Farming:
Tel: 024 7641 3911
Email: [email protected]
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