We welcomed almost a thousand visitors to our family farm last weekend, as part of the national LEAF Open Farm Sunday.
The gates opened at 10.30 am and from then onwards hailed a constant flow of cheery farm-goers, ready to explore the best of Surrey’s farming.
My theme for my year of office is ‘Nurture through Surrey’s Nature’, and Open Farm Sunday exemplified the nurturing qualities of Surrey’s nature. Giggling children jumped on tractors and learnt about cows, families ate picnics amongst the bluebells and learnt how to identify different trees.
The farm focused on three different areas – the cows, the woods and the natural environment. Each area had a host of different activities to get stuck into, from tree planting to worm counting, learning about pasture fed cattle to watching a chainsaw demonstration, following a woodland trail to making beeswax candles. The soil science was a particular hit, one child explained ‘my favourite part was learning about the unbelievable worms. I now know they are very important to help crops survive’.
No one left hungry, with ice creams from nearby Meadow Court Farm on sale as well as Hampton’s famous home grown beef sausages and home baked biscuits.
A plethora of local organisations were involved in the event – Seale Village forest pre-school, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Tice’s Meadow, Farnham Beekeepers, The Livestock Partnership Vets, and The Pirbright Institute.
As well as a brilliant team of volunteers (family and friends of the farm), the superb Surrey Voluntary Police cadets supported the day, ensuring everything ran as smoothly as possible. Caroline Drummond, CEO of LEAF, also visited the farm, impressed by the large range of activities on offer and commented ‘this is exactly what we hope for in an Open Farm event.’