What’s Open Farm Sunday (and which farms are taking part in Somerset)?

(c) A.M.Howe / Prestige Pictures

(c) A.M.Howe / Prestige Pictures - Credit: Archant

On June 10 farms across the county are giving you the chance to visit them as part of a national initiative to get closer to nature

Get up close with the animals

Get up close with the animals - Credit: submitted

The annual Open Farm Sunday sees normal working farms around the country open their gates to welcome the public and showcase all that British agriculture delivers. It is unique in bringing together partners from across the whole food and farming sector for what is essentially a day of celebration – from farmers and processors through to retailers and associated organisations.

Managed by sustainable farming organisation LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) since 2006, Open Farm Sunday is your opportunity to talk to local farmers and find out the answers to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask...and even some you’ve never thought of!

So, to experience farming at first hand, put June 10 in your diary now. Lots of farms across Somerset will be taking part – take a look and see if there’s one near you.

(c) A.M.Howe / Prestige Pictures

(c) A.M.Howe / Prestige Pictures - Credit: Archant

Frogmary Green Farm (TA13 5DJ), 11am-4pm

An arable and poultry farm, it offers a great day out for the whole family. Kids can get crafting in the children’s craft zone and nature lovers will be able to visit the lakes and wildlife zones or enjoy a self-guided walk, while foodies can visit the food stalls and farm shop. Tractor and machinery displays, sheep shearing demonstrations and a quiz for all the family will also be on offer.

Pyle Farm (BA12 5DL), 10am-5pm

Visitors to Pyle Farm will be able to follow the story of gelato made using fresh milk from the farm’s dairy herd and enjoy a dairy farm tour. They can meet the farm’s Hereford bull, calves, pigs, lambs and chickens, enjoy a tractor and trailer ride and see the farm machinery. A pop-up country market selling local produce and crafts will also run throughout the day.

(c) Jason Lock Photography

(c) Jason Lock Photography - Credit: Jason Lock

Orchard Park Farm (BA4 6SF), 10am to 4pm

Kids (young and old) will find plenty to keep themselves entertained at Orchard Park Farm - a fruit and cereal farm. Younger visitors can take part in a Mini Digger Challenge, woodland walk and den building whilst tractor and trailer rides, pressing apples for apple juice, a quad bike trail and machinery displays will be available for all visitors to enjoy.

Faircott Farm (TA8 2JU), 11am-4pm

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Tractor rides, machinery displays, learning about livestock and poultry, a beehive display and sheep shearing are just some of the activities on offer, as well as an ask the expert session to find out all the answers to your questions.

Learn about agriculture

Learn about agriculture - Credit: submitted

Durslade Farm (BA10 0NL), 11am-4pm

Durslade Farm will be offering visitors the chance to find out more about the seasonal produce and animals on the farm via a tractor and trailer ride.

En route visitors can sample, enjoy and learn about the diverse produce from the farm, including apples, cider and apple juices made from more than 40 varieties of apples all grown on the farm, as well as elderflower cordial, honey, marmalade and meat boxes.

Visitors will be able to meet the farm’s sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. Live sheep shearing, linked to spinning and knitting demonstrations with Durslade Farm’s own mohair wool, will also be taking place.

Other farms opening in Somerset...

Farrington’s Farm Shop (BS39 6UB) 10am-4pm will be offering a tour of the farm, farm shop and growing fields, as well as the opportunity to meet the animals, a static machinery display and tractor and trailer rides.

Fosse Farm (BA3 4RA) 11am-4pm will be inviting guests to see the animals and machinery on the farm, as well as enjoy self-guided walks.

In addition to helping grow the public’s understanding of British farming, many farmers make the most of the day to raise their profile in the local community or to fundraise for charity. In 2017, it was estimated that more than £80,000 was raised at LEAF Open Farm Sunday events for charities such as LEAF, Air Ambulance, RABI, cancer charities, as well as local schools and churches.

Annabel Shackleton, LEAF Open Farm Sunday Manager, says: “From the wheat for our bread and cereals and the potatoes and pork for our sausage and mash, through to crops for fuel, clothes and even cosmetics, it all begins on a farm. Farmers play a vital part in our daily lives and LEAF Open Farm Sunday is your chance to be part of The Great British Farm Day and show your support for British farmers and farming.”

Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive, stresses the significance of the annual day in the farming sector: “The need to connect people with farming and what it delivers has never been more important. By uniting our world-leading food and farming sector through LEAF Open Farm Sunday, we are enabling over a quarter of a million people to experience farming at first hand, get their questions answered and build trust and understanding in farming and all it delivers.

To find out more about LEAF Open Farm Sunday and details of farms opening near you visit farmsunday.org.

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