Farmers are ready to throw open the gates

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Twenty-five farms across the Yorkshire and Humber region are being opened up to give the public a behind the scenes peek at food production as part of an annual nationwide event next month.

Open Farm Sunday on June 9 is the only day of the year when hundreds of farms across the country open their gates for the community to learn first hand about where their food comes from.

Last year 150,000 people attended open days; a figure greater than the attendance at Glastonbury and an increase of 25 per cent more visitors than the year before.

For many people it is the first time they appreciate the sheer scale and effort involved in farming on their doorsteps.

There are more than 105,000 farms in England and UK farmers produce 52 per cent of all food consumed in the UK.

Open Farm Sunday events have been organised by national charity Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) since 2006.

Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday manager, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to see what real life farming is all about and to experience farming first hand.

“It’s a chance to discover what goes on behind the production of our food and what our farms do to enhance the environ- ment.

“We had 335 farms taking part last year and already this year over 350 farms have registered which is just fantastic. If the sun shines on the day we will get well over 150,000 people to turn out this time.”

The commitment to the event in Yorkshire has been strong, she said.

“We ran a couple of workshops for farmers early in the year and they were really well supported.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm from Yorkshire farmers and I’m delighted they are taking part.

“If there are any other farmers who are interested in opening up their farm for the first time in the future, then it would be great to go along to an event this year and hopefully it will inspire them to open theirs next year.”

To locate Open Farm Sunday events, visit www.farmsunday.org