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Open Farm Sunday to be reintroduced as ‘Online Farm Sunday’ during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 07:44 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 07:44 06 May 2020

Open Farm Sunday will become Online Farm Sunday on June 7 to help connect the public with the countryside during the lockdown. Pictured: Last year's Open Farm Sunday at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston. Picture: Chris Hill

Open Farm Sunday will become Online Farm Sunday on June 7 to help connect the public with the countryside during the lockdown. Pictured: Last year's Open Farm Sunday at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston. Picture: Chris Hill

Archant

A popular summer event which was due to bring thousands of visitors onto farms across East Anglia before its lockdown postponement will be taken online as a virtual event instead.

Open Farm Sunday, originally scheduled for June 7, was postponed until later in the year as a result of the coronavirus restrictions.

But rather than letting the original date pass by, organisers at LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) have announced they are running the very first LEAF Online Farm Sunday in its place.

Farmers across the UK are being invited to share their world of farming across social media on June 7 to “virtually” connect the public with food production and the countryside using the hashtag #LOFS20.

Open Farm Sunday manager Annabel Shackleton said: “We have such amazing support from across the farming industry and the public for LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS) and we wanted to celebrate it and all those who get involved, albeit in a different way.

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“It is sad that the on-farm events cannot run as usual, but this will be a great opportunity for even more farmers to get involved online. Also, families will be able to get an insight into a whole range of farming enterprises across Britain in one day, in a very accessible way.”

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From 8am to 8pm on Online Farm Sunday, farmers will be taking over the LOFS Facebook channel and hosting virtual tours showcasing what is involved in producing food and protecting the environment, along with some of the science and technology involved. Mrs Shackleton said this virtual format allows for live interaction and questions from the public.

“We have an amazing fan-base of visitors who support LEAF Open Farm Sunday each year who are keen to keep in touch with what’s happening on farms,” 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, and like and share posts to show the fabulous work that they are doing on their farms to keep the nation fed whilst managing our beautiful countryside.

“This will create a powerful, colourful kaleidoscope filled with the personalities and work of our agricultural industry.”

LEAF still plans for the traditional Open Farm Sunday event to take place on September 20. “We are keeping a watching brief but we very much hope that farmers will be able to open their gates and share their farm with the public in September, even if on a smaller scale,” said Mrs Shackleton.

• For more details see the Open Farm Sunday website. Social media content on June 7 can be found on Facebook @LEAFopenfarmsunday or on Twitter @OpenFarmSunday using hashtag #LOFS20.


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