FARMERS in Cumbria are urged to join the hundreds of farms across the country set to ‘virtually’ throw their gates open next month. Organisers Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) is calling on farmers to get involved by sharing their own short film clips, photos and stories of food and farming across social media as part of a two-day virtual event taking place on September 19 and 20. This builds on the success of the first virtual Online Farm Sunday held in June to mark the original date of farming’s annual open day and which attracted thousands of viewers. LOFS is teaming up with British Food Fortnight and Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, also held in September, in an ambitious back-to-back weekend which brings a new cookery element to celebrate not only farming but the food it produces. Farmers can take part through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #LOFS20. On Sunday farmers are invited to virtually open their farm gates and show the public how their food is produced and the amazing work they are doing to protect and enhance the wildlife and biodiversity on their farms. Farmers will be encouraged to go live on Facebook, send in videos and share photographs about their wildlife and biodiversity highlights. Whether it is bee friendly crops, habitat banks or wildflower meadows to boost biodiversity, the day will be a virtual celebration of all that farmers do to protect and enhance the environment and the value of nature to people’s health and wellbeing. Annabel Shackleton, LEAF Open Farm Sunday Manager, said: “This is the perfect opportunity for farmers across the country to get involved and collectively make a huge positive impact on the British public.”