Coronavirus forces cancellation of Open Farm Sunday

The organisers of Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) Open Farm Sunday (OFS) have announced the cancellation of this year’s event due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The farming industry’s annual open day had already been postponed from 7 June to 20 September after the country went into lockdown over the virus in March.

Now, after much careful consideration, the September event has been cancelled.

See also: Farm events rescheduled due to coronavirus

However, following the huge success of Leaf Online Farm Sunday, plans are in place to promote more virtual farm tours during the weekend of 20 September 2020. 

The online event on 7 June achieved almost 140,000 video views and organisers hope the September event will be even bigger, with greater reach. 

“This will be an exciting opportunity to showcase the tail end of harvest, drilling and autumn calving alongside many other aspects of farm life which the public may never get the chance to see,” said Leaf chief executive Caroline Drummond.

The event will be promoted widely on Twitter @OpenFarmSunday and Facebook @LEAFOpenFarmSunday – and participating farmers will be using the hashtag #LOFS20 to showcase the “farm-to-fork” story behind their farms.

2021 date announced

Meanwhile, the next year’s Open Farm Sunday on-farm visits has been set for Sunday 13 June. Organisers are also planning to organise a day or weekend of virtual farm tours in the spring and autumn.

Ms Drummond thanked OFS sponsors for their “understanding and continued support to showcase the best of British farming to the public across the UK and further afield”.

The 2020 OFS sponsors are AHDB, Arla Foods, Asda, BASF, Co-op, Defra, Farmers Weekly, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, Kelloggs, Leaf Marque, NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

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