June 29, 2012
Agrii gets Involved with Open Farm Sunday
On Sunday 17th June just over three hundred farms from across the United Kingdom opened their gates to the public and took part in Open Farm Sunday. Open Farm Sunday is organised by LEAF (Linking Farming and Environment) and since being introduced into the UK in 2006 has gone from strength to strength. The scheme has now seen nearly one million people visit farms – many of these young children experiencing a farm and a farmed environment for the first time.
The idea behind the day is to show the public the stories that lie behind the production of food from field to plate and to celebrate the fantastic work of UK farmers.
This year Laura Francis and Alisdair Naulls, from Agrii Farm Advice Services, and Oliver Hauxwell from the Agrii Agronomy Team ran a farm walk at Boycott Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire, one of the farms Agrii is involved with. Around a thousand visitors passed through the farm gates of Richard Hilsdon establishment and were shown how he produces food and looks after the environment on his 80 hectare holding.
During the course of the day visitors were treated to a tractor trailer ride to see the cattle, chicken and arable crops produced on the farm. They were then taken on a short walk to look at habitat created over the last few years for solitary bees, barn owls and bats as part of Richard’s Entry Level Stewardship Agreement which was set up with help from Laura Francis. The agreement has seen land put into environmental options such as grass margins along watercourses, wild bird seed mixes, low input grassland and hedges cut on a two year cycle ensuring varied wildlife habitat across the farm. Visitors also listened to talks on arable crop management and the journey these crops take once they are harvested before ending up on the dinner table. One magical highlight was a tractor trailer group witnessed was the birth of a calf – fantastic timing from Richard and the team!
Caroline Drummond, LEAF’s Chief Executive is delighted with this year’s events. “Open Farm Sunday is the only event in the food and farming calendar that really unites and celebrates the fantastic work our farmers do and this year we certainly celebrated in style! For each farmer that opened there were many, many more – amounting to thousands of helpers in total, including neighbouring farmers, advisors, industry contacts, relatives and friends who all worked together to make Open Farm Sunday 2012 the amazing event that it was. To everyone that opened their farm, or helped out, whether they had 20 visitors or 2,000 I’d like to send a massive thank you from LEAF. Thanks go to all our sponsors and supporters too, many of whom also helped in many ways on the 17th June. “
Head of Agrii Farm Advice Services, Adrian Matthews said of the event “Open Farm Sunday plays an important part in demonstrating to the public the good work of British farmers; it is also great to see members of the Farm Advice Services team give their time voluntarily to help showcase U.K agriculture. It is just one example of where Agrii are getting involved in this sort of inititative.”
The next Open Farm Sunday will be held on the 9th June, 2013. If you would like to attend please contact Annabel Shakleton from LEAF at Annabel.email@example.com or 0247 6413 911 or Laura Francis from Agrii at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07545927505.