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Marks and Spencer Farming for the Future
John Deere
Farmers Weekly



NFU Farming Delivers for Britain

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Health and Safety

Health and Safety is important but should not overshadow your day.  The key is to be aware of the risks and plan around them.  LEAF works closely with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure the information and support we are providing to host farmers is in line with HSE guidelines. Here is some key information to help you.

  • Tell your insurance company what you are doing - you need a minimum of £5 million public liability insurance

  • You must carry out a risk assessment - please use the generic risk assessment to help you identify the hazards, assess the risk, take action and control the risks.  Read more

  • Holding a lamb or stroking a calf are very special activities to offer at your event, but if you have livestock on Open Farm Sunday you must take precautions to prevent visitors becoming ill through diseases, such as e-coli 0157. Please refer to the industry code of practice on preventing and controlling ill health from animal contact which applies to Open Farm Sunday host farmers. It provides guidance, including case studies, of practical measures that you can apply on your farm to help you comply with the law and keep visitors safe. There is a summary document, full document and teachers notes which can be downloaded from the FACE website here

NOTE: A brief swilling of hands under the water is not enough to remove bacteria on the skin.  Hands must be washed thoroughly using liquid soap to make a lava all over the hands, rinsed in running water and dry using paper towels.  So please ensure these areas are fully supervised and there is lots of signage.

In brief, you must...

  • provide hand washing facilities, signage and supervision
  • handwashing facilities must have:
    • running water (can be cold running water in June)
    • liquid soap (NOT antibacterial gels)
    • paper towels
  • areas should be supervised and visitors should be reminded to wash their hands
  • good signage on the farm including where the animals are, at the handwashing areas and at any eating areas
  • animal contact areas must be segregated from eating areas
  • ensure animals have fresh bedding
  • walkways should be clean, free of soiled bedding and faecal sepage
  • cordon off muck heaps
  • clean off partitions and gates
  • keep viewing area in milking parlours clean
  • ensure visitors clean off shoes, pushchair wheels, etc before leaving your farm
  • follow biosecurity guidelines to safeguard livestock health and safety


  • If you plan to have tractor and trailer rides, the trailer must have:
    • there must be a handrail around the trailer
    • seats must be fixed - bales will do if strapped to the trailer bed
    • the trailer must have independent brakes
    • for more information download the HSE guidance: Carriage of Passengers on Farm Trailers  

How clean should my farm be?

No one is expecting it to be pristine if you are opening for just one day. But you should assess your farm for the risk of visitors becoming soiled. Here are some pointers:

  • Segregate parts of the yard where livestock will gather, such as collecting yards, and prevent access to these areas, as well as manure heaps and slurry pits.
  • Clear the routes you want visitors to use and make sure they understand that if they contact animals directly or hand railings, footwear or soiled clothes, they need to thoroughly wash and dry their hands before eating (see below).
  • Where you are conducting tours of the dairy, for example, keep public areas washed down and free of faecal matter.
  • Where visitors mingle with livestock, clean down gates and partitions, ensure there is a good layer of clean bedding on the day, and watch for areas of faecal seepage.
  • If you have a nature trail that passes through a field containing livestock, you should point visitors to hand-washing facilities on exit, using signs or supervision. Do not allow picnics in these fields.

For further information contact the LEAF office: 024 7641 3911