CUMBRIAN farmers are being encouraged to open their farm gates virtually.

The appeal comes after organisers of Open Farm Sunday decided to create an online event for farmers to show the public how they produce the food that is helping to feed the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity Linking Environment And Farming (Leaf) will run Online Farm Sunday on June 7 – where farmers will use Facebook Live to host virtual tours and demonstrate how they produce food and enhance the environment, as well showing the technology and science involved.

From 8am to 8pm, beef, dairy and arable farmers from Aberdeenshire to Jersey will take over Leaf’s Open Farm Sunday Facebook page, where they can interact with the public and answer questions live.

Annabel Shackleton, manager of Leaf Open Farm Sunday (LOFS), said it was an opportunity for even more farmers to get involved, following the postponement of the main nationwide event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “We would love the farming community across the UK to post short film clips and images throughout the day on their own channels using the hashtag #LOFS20. Also like and share posts to show the fabulous work they are doing on their farms to keep the nation fed while managing our beautiful countryside.”

Mrs Shackleton said the event was in response to the public support for Open Farm Sunday, with people keen to keep in touch with what is happening on farms during the lockdown.

Leaf said it was hopeful that farmers would be able to open their gates to the public on Sunday, September 20, an annual event which sees some Cumbrian farms participate.