Just as every farm is unique, no one event will be the same. Every farm visit is unique with its own activities based around the farm’s own individual story. Activities during a farm visit may include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor & trailer rides, pond dipping, farmers markets, picnics and activities for children. It can be as simple or as big as you like.
LEAF have produced a great handbook packed with ideas of different farm visit activities like countryside pizzas, map sticks, nest building and many more. Some require very little preparation and few resources others are more complicated and need more time. These activities have been chosen and adapted so that you can host a farm visit that will engage your visitors and give them a fun experience to remember. To download the activities handbook, click here.
Pollinator activities - LEAF has teamed up with Syngenta and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) to develop two new activities focussing on farm pollinators: Discover Pollinators and Pollinator Survey - which could become Britain's biggest ever on-farm survey of pollinators. Click here for more information.
Use the resources - as well as the tip sheets and other material available in the resource pack, a number of organisations provide information packs and really great literature and activity sheets that you can order, use on the day and distribute to your visitors:
- The NFU has activity sheets, giveaways and a host of other goodies that help explain why farming matters. Send your name, address, contact telephone number and expected number of visitors to email@example.com, or call the NFU campaigns team on 02476 858668.
- HGCA produces a series of colourful posters that bring alive the story of oilseed rape, malting barley and other arable commodities. There's more inspiration on the Grain Chain website. Posters and other materials can be ordered by sending name, address, and expected number of visitors to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 024 7647 8733.
- The DairyCo School Milk Project has a selection of materials that dairy farmers can use from The Story of Milk DVD, to posters, stickers and activities that help get your message across. For more information or to order your resources, go to the School Milk Project website or call 0870 241 2693.
- EBLEX can provide information on the environment and facts and figures about the red meat industry, along with a host of materials from cut charts to fun posters. To register for your EBLEX beef and lamb farm visit pack, go to www.beefandlambfarmvisits.co.uk or call Zhenya Dewfield on 0870 606 30 30.
Make the link - Help people make the link between your farm and their fridges. Always start off from plate to plough, rather than plough to plate, in other words start by making your story relevant to your audiences lives, rather than starting off by talking about farming. If you process your own food, great, have it out on display. If not, go and buy some that could have been produced on your farm. Food activities include - talks from local chefs, food displays and tastings, picnics, bread baking, mini farmers market, butchery demonstrations, sausage making, harvesting vegetables and tasters, cookery demonstrations, cheese making, apple juice pressing, plant your own seed potatoes, hog roasts and BBQ’s.
Farm tours - Farm tours can come in all shapes and sizes! Here are a few - guided farm walks and nature trails, tractor and trailer rides, farm machinery ‘old and new’ displays, silage making demonstrations, cereal crop tours, meet the farm animals, farm maps showing routes with descriptions of features of interest.
Animal activities - Everyone, young and old, loves animals. Here are some activities involving animals - sheep shearing, feed the chickens, hold a chick, milking demonstrations, new born piglets, feeding lambs, rare breeds, egg collecting, feeding calves, meet the vet, foot trimming, pig racing, milk the cow, guess the weight of the bull, name the calf, working dog demonstrations and pony rides.
Competitions, quizzes and entertainment - Not only are farms great classrooms, they also can provide some great games and competitions, such as - welly wanging, scarecrow making, tree ring counting, bale climbing frame, montages using farming magazines, farm animal face painting or mask making, bale maze, farm scavenger hunts, felt making, farm scene drawing and colouring competitions, quad biking, clay shooting, dog agility, falconry display, horseshoe quoits, apple bobbing and farm story telling/drama. To download the Frontier Wildlife Wordsearch click here.
Going wild - Make the link between farming and nature with one of the following activities - mini beast hunts, pond dipping, nest building, bird box making, nature table and hibernation chambers and hedge laying.
Team up with others - Think about teaming up with other non farming events in the local area to see if there are any opportunities for joining forces. You could even invite the local church congregation to have their service in one of your barns, followed by a farm walk of course! Rev. Dr. Gordon Gatward form the Arthur Rank Centre has kindly prepared some prayers for Open Farm Sunday, to download them click here.
Pollinator activities - Growing Game - LEAF has developed a game that takes your visitors on an interactive journey from seed to harvest, with the support of GrowHow UK. Download the instructions to find out more, then download the two resource kits to make the game.
The Growing Game - instructions
Resource kit 1
Resource kit 2