Coronavirus: Public join farmers for virtual farm tours

Virtual farm tours included insights into crop uses, cows' diet, soil health, and the benefits of hedgerows
Virtual farm tours included insights into crop uses, cows' diet, soil health, and the benefits of hedgerows

The first virtual Open Farm Sunday has been hailed a success, with farmers across the UK taking to social media to showcase food production and environmentalism.

For the first ever LEAF Online Farm Sunday, thousands of consumers joined British producers on virtual tours of their farms on Sunday 7 June.

The day marked the planned date of the original event, when farms should have been opening their gates for what would have been the 15th OFS.

However, due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, the live event is now scheduled for Sunday 20 September.



The British public were nevertheless invited to join farmers across the UK broadcasting live on the LEAF Open Farm Sunday Facebook page – with a new farmer going live each hour from 8am – 8pm.

Over the course of the day, videos on the Facebook page were viewed 85,000 times.



The tours included insights into crop uses, cows' diet, soil health, hedgerows and their benefits for wildlife. The public also listened to the noise skylarks make, and saw what rapeseed looked like after harvesting,

Caroline Drummond, LEAF chief executive, said the level of engagement with Online Farm Sunday showed that the public 'cared' about British farming.

"The day provided people with a unique opportunity to ‘visit’ farms and parts of the country they have never been to and would not normally get to visit," she said.

"As so many people have been consuming information and entertainment online during lockdown, it was only right that Open Farm Sunday had an online presence too.

Ms Drummond added: “I’d like to add my huge thanks to all the farmers who took part and to all our sponsors and supporters who made yesterday possible."