The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Farmers to open their gates to the public

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Farmers and crofters are being invited to take part in Open Farm Sunday next month.

The annual event, which sets out to educate and inform the public about what goes on behind the farm gate, takes place on Sunday June 11.

Last year more than 380 farms across the UK opened to the public, welcoming more than 260,000 visitors. Of these, 21 farms were in Scotland and their open days attracted 20,758 visitors.

The event’s Scottish coordinato­r, Rebecca Dawes, said there was still time for people to sign up and get involved next month.

“For those farmers with diversifie­d enterprise­s on the farm, for example farm shops or tourism offers, Open Farm Sunday can be invaluable for boosting visitor numbers and creating a promotiona­l opportunit­y,” added Ms Dawes.

She said visitor surveys after events last year revealed that 91% said they now had a greater appreciati­on of the farming community, and 73% said they would actively look to buy British produce.

Ms Dawes said: “By taking part, for free, in Open Farm Sunday you become part of a network that offers support and complement­ary materials so that you don’t feel overwhelme­d. A simple farm walk can be as effective as a large open day.”

Anyone interested in hosting an event is asked to contact Ms Dawes on 07792 467730 or email ofsrc.scotland@gmail.com.

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