This year’s Open Farm Sunday is on 10 June. If you’re thinking about taking part, there’s plenty of time to organise things and work out how you can provide members of the public with an interesting, educational and fun day out.
Last year over 350 farms from around the UK took part, welcoming visitor numbers from 10 to over 10,000! Farms that have participated in the event over the years report that last year was the most popular year yet, with many having double the number of visitors they’d seen previously.
Possible activities to organise
If you’re thinking about what kind of activities to provide, there’s a long list of ideas that have been successful over the years. Obviously, people want to get close to any farm animals and find out what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, so guided tours are a must. Maybe you could even team up with a local rambler or bird watcher group to incorporate a longer guided walk, showing them much more of the farm.
Many farmers organised demonstrations for people to look at, whether it was milking, sheep shearing, wool spinning, or ploughing.
But people like to try things out for themselves. Some farmers hire a model cow so people can try their hand at milking. One farmer last year teamed up with the local vet who brought in a bovine teaching model so people could find out for themselves what it’s like to put their hand in the back of a cow!
Another farmer teamed up with a local tractor dealership who loaned them machinery for people to look at and climb in.
Other interactive activities farmers organised last year were quizzes, welly wanging, scarecrow making, bean planting, potato picking and food tastings.
And if you have a farm shop or café, an open day can bring in extra income, making the hard work of organising and running the event worthwhile.
With all these possible activities going on, signage is an essential item on your checklist. The safety of the public is paramount, so you will need to warn them clear about the dangers on the farm and be very clear about where your visitors can and, more importantly, where they cannot go.
The more activities you’re planning to run, the more important it is that you provide visitors with directions to them. And, of course, signage showing them where to buy your fresh, farm produce.
If you’re planning to take part in Open Farm Sunday, or if you’re running your own open day, check out our farm signs and accessories to help you organise your visitors and give them a better experience.