Farming News - LEAF Open Farm Sunday strengthens support for farmers

LEAF Open Farm Sunday strengthens support for farmers

16 Apr 2021
Frontdesk / Arable / Livestock

With two months until LEAF Open Farm Sunday on the 27th June, which will see hundreds of farmers open their farm gates to the public, organisers Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) have today announced the appointment of eight ambassadors to support farmers, crofters and smallholders taking part.

Each with a back­ground in agri­cul­ture, their role is to encour­age and sup­port farm­ers look­ing to open. Ambas­sadors will share ideas to engage vis­i­tors and give prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion on how to imple­ment safe and fun social dis­tanc­ing. This year LOFS is putting a strong focus on host­ing small, social­ly dis­tanced farm walks and talks to pro­vide an inti­mate insight to what hap­pens on farm. 

Annabel Shack­le­tonLEAF Open Farm Sun­day Man­ag­er, commented,

This year we are see­ing more peo­ple spend­ing time in the great out­doors and cook­ing from scratch, and there is a gen­uine inter­est across soci­ety to learn about where food comes from, the work farm­ers do and how the coun­try­side is managed. 

With stay­ca­tions and trips to the coun­try­side increas­ing, we antic­i­pate there will be more peo­ple than ever want­i­ng to vis­it a farm this sum­mer, and we want to encour­age as many farm­ers as pos­si­ble to get involved with the con­fi­dence they can man­age their events safely. 

In order to sup­port farm­ers, we felt it was impor­tant to estab­lish a strong net­work of ambas­sadors who have knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence in on-farm events and LEAF Open Farm Sun­day. We are very excit­ed to wel­come five new ambas­sadors, and wel­come back three for­mer co-ordi­na­tors, form­ing a strong net­work to sup­port any­one con­sid­er­ing tak­ing part.”

In addi­tion to being on hand to speak one-to-one with farm­ers, co-ordi­nat­ing region­al groups and pre­sent­ing at events, ambas­sadors are record­ing a series of short videos to help with the plan­ning of a LEAF Open Farm Sun­day event. Top­ics cov­ered include how to cre­ate a hand-wash­ing sta­tion, using a tick­et­ing sys­tem to man­age the num­ber and flow of vis­i­tors through to com­mu­ni­ca­tions sup­port and cre­ative activ­i­ty ideas. These will be avail­able on the LEAF web­site along­side a range of oth­er free resources. 

The new appoint­ments are:

Anne Mair-Chap­man (North East — Eng­land) farms with her fam­i­ly in North Northum­ber­land, includ­ing Suf­folk and Blue Tex­el Sheep.

Jon Myhill (East — Eng­land) is a crop-con­sul­tant, spe­cial­is­ing in ener­gy and for­age, and Direc­tor of MB Farm­ing Ltd, a con­tract­ing busi­ness in Nor­folk and Suffolk.

Mol­ly Bid­dell (South East — Eng­land) sup­ports her fam­i­ly-run diver­si­fied estate in Sur­rey as well as work­ing as a Pol­i­cy Ana­lyst in the Sav­ills Rur­al Research team.

Rona Amiss (South West — Eng­land) is a first gen­er­a­tion, ten­ant­ed farmer on the most souther­ly point of main­land UK and oper­ates her own farm diversification.

Helen Chap­pell (North West — Eng­land) runs a tra­di­tion­al mixed dairy and arable farm that has been in the fam­i­ly for 7 generations. 

They join Andy Guy (Mid­lands — Eng­land), Jamie McCoy (Wales) and Rebec­ca Dawes (Scot­land) who have all been reap­point­ed, hav­ing worked with LEAF Open Farm Sun­day for more than five years and each host­ing their own on-farm events. 

The ambas­sadors will be host­ing three online farmer meetings open to any­one inter­est­ed in tak­ing part in LOFS, or any expe­ri­enced hosts look­ing for new ideas. 

Dur­ing the short one-hour zoom call, there will be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet some of the new ambas­sadors, lis­ten to their top tips, answer ques­tions, shares ideas and speak to hosts. 

The ​LEAF Open Farm Sun­day Top Tip” ses­sions will take place on:

Mon­day 10th May, 19:30

Wednes­day 12th May, 12:30

Fri­day 14th May, 08:00

To find out more about the ambas­sadors or reg­is­ter to host an event, vis­it www​.farm​sun​day​.org.

LEAF Open Farm Sun­day will take place on 27th June 2021. Fol­low­ing reg­is­tra­tion, hosts will receive a hand­book with guid­ance on how to ensure events com­ply with on-farm health and safe­ty regulations.