CUMBRIAN farmer, Susan Aglionby has opened the farmgates to visitors for the past 17 years.

Now the 150-acre Susan's Farm at Houghton, on the outskirts of Carlisle, is gearing up to take part in its 18th Open Farm Sunday this weekend.

Susan Aglionby has been farming in Cumbria for 33 years, and is passionate about inviting members of the public onto her farm.

A sole trader until 2015, Susan’s Farm became a registered charity and care farm in 2019, home to Longhorn Cattle, North of England Mule Sheep, Geese and Hens.

Susan is still responsible for organising Open Farm Sunday and for meat sales.

The education team works with some of the most vulnerable young people and adults in the community as well as curriculum-based visits for primary and secondary school children, she is also passionate about farming with nature.

Visitors to the farm will also find wildflower margins and hedgerows, ponds providing habitats for wildlife increasing the biodiversity and find out more about rotational grazing, pollinators, beehives and the importance of healthy soil.

As a parent and grandparent, Susan knows that educating everyone that ‘healthy soil produces healthy plants that produce healthy food and so healthy children’ is invaluable.

As well as sharing skills and knowledge about the production of sustainable and delicious meat from traditional breeds with young people, adults and community groups, Susan has been an inspiration to many and in 2014 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Cumbria and in 2017 an OBE and the Blamire Medal for Contribution to Agriculture in Cumberland.

Marking farming’s annual, national open day, this year’s Open Farm Sunday will take place on June 9, where hundreds of farms across Britain open their gates to the public.

So, clear the diary, pop on your wellies (not obligatory!) and find your nearest farm to visit at