EACH year farmers in Cumbria throw open their farmgate to the public to mark Open Farm Sunday.

But this year due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, organisers of Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) have announced the cancellation of this year's event.

The farming industry's annual open day had already been postponed from June 7 to September 20 after the country went into lockdown over the virus in March.

But LEAF have, after much careful consideration and listening to farmer feedback, decided to cancel the September event.

However, following the huge success of Leaf Online Farm Sunday, plans are in place to promote more virtual farm tours during the weekend of September 20 2020, when it is hoped that farms in Cumbria will participate.

The online event on June 7 achieved almost 140,000 video views and organisers hope the September event will be even bigger, with greater reach.

“This will be an exciting opportunity to showcase the tail end of harvest, drilling and autumn calving alongside many other aspects of farm life which the public may never get the chance to see,” said Leaf chief executive Caroline Drummond.

The event will be promoted widely on Twitter @OpenFarmSunday and Facebook @LEAFOpenFarmSunday – and participating farmers will be using the hashtag #LOFS20 to showcase the “farm-to-fork” story behind their farms.

Meanwhile, the next year’s Open Farm Sunday on-farm visits has been set for Sunday, June 13. Organisers are also planning to organise a day or weekend of virtual farm tours in the spring and autumn.