Crowds watch farm kit at work

Linking Environment and Farming’s (Leaf) Open Farm Sunday takes place on 11 June 2017.

Once again, the British farming industry is uniting to showcase the world of farming to the public.

Whether you are hosting an event, supporting on a farm, or simply visiting, Leaf Open Farm Sunday is your day and should be fun. 

Here, the project’s manager Annabel Shackleton sets out some last-minute tips to those farmers opening up.

See also: Open Farm Sunday: Myths, information and advice

1. Double check

It may sound obvious, but double check everything you have arranged before it is too late.

If you’ve ordered toilets, handwashing facilities or trailers, for example, then call the company you’ve organised these from ahead of the delivery date to check all is on track – especially if it is a while since it was booked.

The Open Farm Sunday handbook features a checklist to help ensure you’ve got everything planned.

2. Don’t forget the signs

Depending on the size of your event, there may be a lot of activities and you’ll need to make things as easy as possible for visitors.

Signage helps them find their way around your farm and make sure they get as much out of the day as possible.

If things are spread out, consider having a map available, or making sure you have helpers on hand to direct people. Don’t forget you can download signs from the resources page on the Open Farm Sunday website.

A child enjoys activities at Open Farm Sunday3. Make sure farm access is clear

If the entrance is down a single track road, consider setting up a one-way system or have helpers directing traffic.

Remember to keep livestock off the field you’re using for parking.

4. Walk the farm and assess the risks

Put yourself in a visitor’s shoes (or wellies) and walk around as if you were attending your event.

This way you’ll pick up if there is anything that needs changing or tidying.

This would be a good time to check your risk assessment is up to date, too, so make sure to check for hazards.

5. Briefing helpers

Make sure your helpers are fully briefed on what is planned, where, when and what their specific role is.

Please ensure they know about health and safety issues, in particulars the need to direct visitors to handwashing facilities if they have been in livestock contact areas.

For larger events, ensure access routes are kept clear without obstructions so there is always room for emergency vehicles should they be required.

Make sure helpers know who to contact and how, just in case there are any questions or issues which need sorting.

6. Make sure your website entry is up to date

There was a record number of visits to the Open Farm Sunday website in the run-up to the day in 2016.

Many farmers didn’t know their full plans when they registered, so update these to give visitors as much information about your event as possible.

Try to include details on timings, any activity costs, and any other advice they may need – such as parking arrangements. 

Many farmers didn’t know their full plans when they registered, so update these to give visitors as much information about your event as possible.

Try to include details on timings, any activity costs, and any other advice they may need – such as parking arrangements. 

7. Use your own channels 

Many farms have their own websites and social media feeds and these are a great way to tell people about your event. 

We’ll be sharing details from our feeds all weekend so make sure to link up with us – @OpenFarmSunday on Twitter and @LEAFOpenFarmSunday on Facebook) and we’ll share your details too.

8. Support other farmers

If you’re not taking part on OFS, why not support your colleagues?

If you’ve done it before and are taking a break year you’ll appreciate the work that has gone into their event.

If you haven’t done Leaf it before, attending an event is a great way to see what happens and get ideas for 10 June 2018.

For any last-minute queries, contact Leaf on 02476 413 911 or get in touch with your OFS regional co-ordinator.