SEVERAL farms in Cumbria opened their farmgates to the public to join in LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2021 - farming's annual open day.

Following a year in which LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has encouraged thousands of people to join virtual farm tours across the country, the sustainable farming organisation has reported that over 100 farms nationally opened their gates last Sunday.

For the first LEAF Open Farm Sunday since June 2019, thousands of people took the opportunity to visit a working farm and see first-hand all that is involved in the sustainable production of the food they eat and what farmers do to look after the wider environment.

Given the current Covid regulations, less farms than usual chose to open, with pre-booking a key requirement to limit visitor numbers, but this did not diminish the enthusiasm farmers put in to sharing their farming stories and showcasing British farming.

Most farms offered socially-distanced farm walks or guided tours, giving visitors a great opportunity to talk directly with farmers and enjoy a really personal experience of farming.

Farms in Cumbria included Cowran Estate, Ulverston; Byres Farm, Houghton; Susan’s Farm, Carlisle; Low Bankside Farm, Grange Over Sands and Ghyll Bank Farm, Penrith.

Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive, said: “A huge thank you to all the farmers who opened their gates on Sunday. LEAF’s ‘Take 30’ campaign to encourage farmers to take small groups of 30 on a farm walk clearly resonated really well. Of the farms that opened, one in three did so for the first time, so it was wonderful to welcome some new farmers into the LEAF Open Farm Sunday family.”