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Find out which farms you can visit on Open Farm Sunday

PUBLISHED: 08:15 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2018

Open Farm Sunday at Place UK in Tunstead in 2016.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Open Farm Sunday at Place UK in Tunstead in 2016. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2016

Farms will throw open their gates today to showcase the best of East Anglian agriculture – and to offer a chance for the public to engage with the people who grow their food.

A sheep shearing demonstration on Open Farm Sunday at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston. A sheep shearing demonstration on Open Farm Sunday at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston.

Open Farm Sunday, a national initiative co-ordinated by Leaf (Linking Environment And Farming), offers a family day out to experience life beyond the farm gate.

Thousands of visitors are expected across the region, where farms ranging from large arable estates to dairies and poultry businesses will be offering a range of attractions including tractor and trailer tours, milking and shearing demonstrations, and displays of state-of-the-art machinery.

While the event aims to offer a fun experience of the countryside, there will also be opportunities to ask farming professionals about their methods of food production, crop protection, animal welfare and environmental issues.

One participating farmer is Tim Lewis at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston, which has attracted more than 5,000 visitors in the last two years, and is anticipating similar numbers this year.

Open Farm Sunday 2017. Clarke's Farm at Martham. Open Farm Sunday 2017. Clarke's Farm at Martham.

Like many Open Farm Sunday events, it is a collaborative effort, with as many as 100 volunteers and 20 different businesses coming together to organise entertainment and educational displays at the host farm.

“From our point of view we want to give people the chance to get out into our workplace, but also to have the opportunity to ask any questions that they have – which then gives us the chance to answer them face to face, rather than them reading it in some document or a newspaper,” he said. “There are all sorts of questions that people want to know about what we do, and what we don’t do.

“It is a very busy day and it is very well-received, which shows there is an appetite to get out there and engage with those that are active in the countryside, and to see what it is all about. It is also a good showcase day for agriculture and a bit of fun in the countryside, for people to come and enjoy the open space which is sometimes not so readily accessible.”

READ MORE: Ten farming facts you could learn on Open Farm Sunday

Open Farm Sunday at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston. Open Farm Sunday at Shotford Hall Farm in Harleston.

Annabel Shackleton, Leaf Open Farm Sunday manager, added: “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.”

EVENTS ACROSS EAST ANGLIA

Open Farm Sunday features farms of all types and sizes, so each event offers a different experience which could include tractor and trailer tours, machinery displays, animal encounters with cattle, pigs and poultry, or demonstrations of sheep shearing and the milking of dairy cows.

Events in our region on June 10 include:

• Stangroom Bros, Hamrow Farm, Whissonsett, near Fakenham.

• Manor Farm, The Street, Fundenhall, near Wymondham.

• Peele’s Norfolk Black Turkeys, Rookery Farm, Thuxton, near Dereham.

• Houghton Organic Farm, Houghton, near Fakenham.

• Westacre Farms, Soigne Farm, Tumbleyhill Road , West Acre, Kings Lynn.

• Old Hall Farm , Dereham Road, Westfield, Dereham.

• Coston Hall Farm Ltd, Coston Hall, Coston, near Dereham.

• Holkham Farming Company, Holkham, Wells.

• Hundred River Farm, Valley Farm, Sotterley, Beccles.

• Lewis Partners, Shotford Hall Farm, Harleston.

• Easton and Otley College, Easton Campus, Norwich.

• Hainey Farm, J B Shropshire & Sons Ltd, Hainey Farm, Barway, Ely.

For full details, see the Open Farm Sunday website.

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