Open Farm Sunday: Eight ambassadors to support farmers

The network of ambassadors will share knowledge and experience for farmers looking to take part
The network of ambassadors will share knowledge and experience for farmers looking to take part

Organisers behind the annual Open Farm Sunday initiative have appointed eight ambassadors to support farmers looking to open their farm gates this year.

The 2021 socially-distanced events, taking place on 27 June, will see hundreds of farmers open their farm gates to the public.

Eight ambassadors, ranging from farmers to consultants, have been appointed to share ideas on ways to engage with visitors, such as Covid-friendly farm walks and talks.

The ambassadors will be hosting three online farmer meetings open to those interested in taking part.

Annabel Shackleton, LEAF Open Farm Sunday manager said: “With staycations and trips to the countryside increasing, we anticipate there will be more people than ever wanting to visit a farm this summer.

"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 Open Farm Sunday."

The ambassadors will also record a series of short videos to help with the planning of an Open Farm Sunday event.

Topics covered will include how to create a hand-washing station and using a ticketing system to manage the number and flow of visitors.

Who are the new ambassadors?

Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) have appointed eight farmer ambassadors to help those wanting to take part in this year's Open Farm Sunday:

• 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.