Open Farm event promises gains for business

Environmental charity LEAF (Linking Environment & Farming) is urging farmers to get involved in its Open Farm event on Sunday 17 June, claiming that participation can bring tangible gains for businesses.

Its own research has found that 80 per cent of farmers who took part last year reported benefits from having the public visit, including increased sales, better community relations, raised local profile, improved staff morale and new contacts.

Almost 200 farms have already signed up, nearly three in 10 of them for the first time. LEAF chief executive Caroline Drummond said: "Since 2006, more than three-quarters of a million people have visited a farm on Open Farm Sunday, and this year we hope to welcome the millionth visitor."

LEAF has organised a second series of free workshops in May for would-be participants. The first round in February drew more than 120 attendees. Topics include ideas for visitor activities, how to get your message across to the public and health and safety on the day. To take part or to register, see www.farmsunday.org.


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