Over 350 people went to visit Rowley Farm, in Wrexham near Slough, on Open Farm Sunday on 12th June 2011. The real crowd puller of the day took place in the cow shed, where two calves were born in front of a gripped audience. Despite the rain, visitors stayed on the farm for over two hours, on average, enjoying a diverse range of activities, many of which were under shelter. The trailer rides were as popular as ever. Activities included cow milking, butter making, a musical trailer show, facepainting, storytelling and fun games. The band proved popular, the home reared beef was truly delicious, many dads were seen clasping a hot steak sandwich and the home made burgers proved popular with all the families. Colne Valley Food and Pinewood Nurseries bought a tasty range of locally sourced food and a range of hanging baskets and bedding plants.
Run by the Whitby family, Rowley Farm is a member of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the organisers of Open Farm Sunday. LEAF is a registered charity that assists farmers and producers to manage their farms as efficiently and sustainably as possible which, as a result, helps them to produce good food with environmental care. Open Farm Sunday also helps strengthen local communities as farmers, local organisations and businesses come together to help the public have a fun and informative day.
The Open Farm Sunday event at Rowley Farm was a great example of communities working together. Supporting the family and their team on the day, amongst others, was Colne Valley Foods which works in partnership with Groundwork Thames Valley to enable farmers to supply locally produced food to the local community in and around the Colne Valley Park.
Colne Valley Foods recently received a grant from BAA (British Airports Authority) to help with activities like this. There was an an opportunity to try and buy some of the local produce including meat, vegetables, ice cream, preserves and rapeseed oil and talk to the people that make the food too. This event also offered a great opportunity to see a Jersey herd close up, young calves and 200 Jersey cows being milked.
Although Rowley Farm is very close to Slough and Heathrow Airport, it is an outstanding example of how farmers care not only about the food they produce (which in the case of Rowley Farm is milk and cereals) but the countryside and wildlife too. Visitors were able to take a tractor and trailer ride to see for themselves the sustainable methods the family uses to ensure their farm produces both good food and a thriving environment for wildlife.
For more information about the 2012 Open Farm Sunday events visit www.farmsunday.org and for up-to-date campaign information, follow on Twitter – twitter.com/openfarmsunday
To arrange a visit to Rowley Farm or an interview with John Whitby contact:
David Gough or Laura Bates
Open Farm Sunday Press Office
T: 01189 475956 M : 07884 353 474
You might be interested, also, in learning more about LEAF:
- LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) www.leafuk.orgis a national charity that helps farmers produce food with care for the environment, while working with their local community
- The sixth annual Open Farm Sunday on 12June 2011 provides a great opportunity for the public to truly get to know how their food is produced and how the countryside around them is cared for
- Visitors will be able to learn from farmers themselves how natural plant and insect species are encouraged to thrive alongside crops, they will get a close-up look at farm animals and see how the needs of wildlife are balanced with modern food production
- LEAF organises Open Farm Sunday and supports farmers with putting on an event that is not only enjoyable, but gives visitors a really fascinating insight into aspects of the countryside that they would not usually see or experience on an average day out
- LEAF supports both LEAF and non-LEAF member farmers by hosting a number of workshops across the country with practical advice and tips for organising successful events. LEAF also provides free promotional support materials and an interactive online event database to register details of farmer events
- Food carrying the LEAF Marque logo shows that it has been grown by farmers who are committed to looking after the countryside and the environment. LEAF farmers are subject to an independent LEAF Audit, designed to help them meet the change in demands placed on operations by legislation, the marketplace, community and the industry
- An increasing number of farmers are signing up to support LEAF, to demonstrate how they are integrating modern farming with environmental conservation
- Principal sponsors for Open Farm Sunday 2011 are: ASDA, Defra, Farmers Weekly, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, LEAF Marque, Natural England, National Farmers Union, Syngenta, Waitrose, Warburtons. Additional sponsors include: DairyCo, EBLEX, GrowHow, HGCA, M&S.