Over 100 farms opened gates for Open Farm Sunday 2021

This year, most farms offered socially-distanced farm walks or guided tours
This year, most farms offered socially-distanced farm walks or guided tours

Over 100 farms opened their gates on Sunday for the annual Open Farm Sunday 2021, organisers have confirmed.

For the first Open Farm Sunday since June 2019, thousands of people took the opportunity to visit a working farm across the country.

Given the current Covid regulations, less farms than usual chose to open, with pre-booking a key requirement to limit visitor numbers.

Of the farms that opened, 1 in 3 did so for the first time, according to organisers Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF).

The educational body said the pandemic did not diminish the enthusiasm farmers put in to showcasing British farming.

Most farms offered socially-distanced farm walks or guided tours, giving visitors an opportunity to talk directly with farmers.

Caroline Drummond, LEAF chief executive, said: “LEAF’s ‘Take 30’ campaign to encourage farmers to take small groups of 30 on a farm walk clearly resonated really well.

"We also really appreciated the feedback we’ve had from farmers who, for a variety of reasons, chose not to open this June, but sent messages of support.

"Many of them have indicated that they plan to open again in 2022 and we’re already looking forward to next year.”

Defra farming minister, Victoria Prentis MP joined Caroline Drummond for a tour of Rectory Farm near Oxford.

She said: “British farmers do so much to not only produce the nutritious food we eat, but also to care for the environment.

"It is vital that people understand more about all that farmers do and the high standards of food production and animal welfare in Britain.”

LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2022 will take place on Sunday 12 June.