230,000 people visited a farm on Open Farm Sunday

Initial statistics suggest that more visitors came from urban locations than in previous years
Initial statistics suggest that more visitors came from urban locations than in previous years

361 farms from across the UK opened their gates to host over 230,000 visitors during last weekend's Open Farm Sunday.

Organisers Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) have released figures for this year's event.

The initiative, which took place on Sunday 9th June, witnessed a decline in attendance figures. Last year's event saw a total of 293,650 people visit a farm.

However, the feedback from both farmers and visitors indicates a growing interest in British agriculture and food production.



In particular, people are keen to hear about sustainable farming practices for land management, soil and water health as well as the role of technology.

Events this weekend took place from the Channel Islands to Shetland, ranging from informal farm walks to self-guided tours, tractor-and-trailer rides and large-scale educational events with organised activities and local stallholders.



Initial statistics suggest that more visitors came from urban locations than in previous years and that there was an increase in the number of people who had never been on a farm before.

Of the 361 events, there was a significant increase in the proportion of smaller events held for up to 50 people, while 33% more farms opened in Yorkshire and 22% more in Scotland.

More than 25% of farmers involved were hosting for the first time – in Scotland, this was 50% and in Wales, 38% - and hundreds of volunteers across the industry supported the events, including agronomists, vets and retailers.

Open Farm Sunday manager, Annabel Shackleton, said: “As well as the important opportunity for open dialogue between farmers and the public, many visitors commented on how much they appreciated being welcomed onto farm and the space and freedom to enjoy the countryside in safety.

“Our farmers have been blown away by the calibre and quantity of questions from visitors about environmental practices.”

She added: “Its inspiring to see so many taking an active interest in how their food is produced and choosing to connect with farmers.”

LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2020 will take place on Sunday 7th June.