Open Farm Sunday has been pushed back to the end of June in a bid to bring the maximum post-lockdown crowds back to East Anglia's farms.

The popular event, which usually brings thousands of visitors onto farms across the region, was cancelled last year - but organisers LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) hope it could be "bigger than ever" when it makes its comeback on June 27.

The new date is two weeks later than originally planned, taking it beyond the last scheduled step in the prime minister's roadmap out of lockdown, which could potentially remove all legal limits on social contact from June 21.

Although the government has stressed that changes in coronavirus infection rates or the effectiveness of the vaccination programme could delay that schedule, organisers are optimistic that the new date gives them the best possible chance of capitalising on the pent-up demand for summer family events.

Host farmers are being advised to anticipate high demand, and encouraged to use online booking and ticketing systems to avoid overcrowding.

Jon Myhill, a Norwich-based independent energy crop consultant, is LEAF Open Farm Sunday ambassador for the East of England.

"We are hoping restrictions will be lifted by June 27, giving our farmers and the public the confidence to have a safe day out with the family," he said.

"We could be one of the first events where we have that freedom from the restrictions, so it could be a really good day for farmers to engage with the public. It is more important than ever.

"Encouragingly, we are being contacted by some farmers who have never held an Open Farm Sunday before and they are keen to start this year.

"It is a great opportunity to speak with your end customer about where their food comes from, and show them the science, professionalism and technology in our industry.

"We are recommending farms use a ticketing system where people book online. That way farmers can control the number of people coming to their event to avoid overcrowding, and if things change in terms of Covid restrictions, it is an easy way to get in contact with them.

"We have got to keep a close eye on the roadmap, but even if it changes, events could be scaled back to make them Covid safe."

  • For advice on hosting a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event, see or contact Jon Myhill at or 07552783339.

Eastern Daily Press: Jon Myhill, LEAF Open Farm Sunday ambassador for the East of EnglandJon Myhill, LEAF Open Farm Sunday ambassador for the East of England (Image: Jon Myhill)