Open Farm Sunday takes place this month and scores of farms of all sizes are preparing to throw open their gates to the public.

Now in its 18th year, the industry’s annual open day organised by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) takes place on Sunday, June 9, and provides an opportunity for every farmer to put their stories centre stage and promote a positive image of the industry.

Annabel Shackleton, Open Farm Sunday manager, says welcoming visitors on farm doesn’t have to be complicated.

She says: “It’s a misconception that you need a blockbuster budget and an army of volunteers to host an event – that’s not the case. There is real scope to develop an Open Farm Sunday format that works for you and allows you to build your confidence by starting small.

“We’d really like to encourage more farmers to dip their toes in the water."

Darlington and Stockton Times: The LEAF Open Farm Sunday team at Lodge Farm

LEAF research shows that 62 per cent of last year’s visitors reported they wanted to hear more farming stories.

“We know that most farmers don’t consider themselves ‘heroes’, however, Open Farm Sunday provides a fantastic opportunity to communicate your achievements, high standards and commitment to sustainability,” added Mrs Shackleton.

“Energy and enthusiasm are the two most important factors for delivering a fun and memorable day. One in five visitors have never visited a farm before so what you consider ‘every day’ activities are fascinating and a whole new world to most people.”

Visit the website at to find out more information, and book places at the following locations.

Farms open in the North East

Unless stated, all are open on Sunday, June 9

Bowlees Farm, Newbiggin, County Durham, DL12 0XF.

10.30am to 3.30pm

Cockle Park Farm, Hebron, near Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3EA.

Thursday, June 13, 6pm to 8pm.

Hopper House Farm, Racecourse Road, Sedgefield, County Durham, TS21 2HL.

11am to 4pm

Kypie Farm, Mindrum, Cornhill on Tweed, Northumberland, TD12 4QG,

10am to 3pm

Nafferton Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7XD.

Wednesday, June 5 and Wednesday, June 12, both 6pm to 8pm

Raby Home Farm, Raby Castle, Staindrop, County Durham, DL2 3AH.

10am to 4pm

Thornington Farm, Mindrum, Cornhill on Tweed, Northumberland, TD12 4QH.

10am to 4pm

VistaVeg Ltd, Bell Foot, Crosby, Ravensworth, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 3JB.

12pm to 4pm

Westhills Farm, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 7XF.

2pm to 5pm

Wheelbirks Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7HY.

10am to 5pm

Whitrigg Farm, Plumpton, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0BW.

Milking starts at 2pm and will take two hours

Blakeley Farm, Moor Lane, Staindrop, County Durham, DL2 3LH.

Sunday, June 16, 11am to 5pm, milking starts at 3.30pm

Farms open in Yorkshire

Crathorne Farms, Corps House Farm, Crathorne, North Yorkshire, TS15 0AA.

10.30am to 3pm

Forest of Flowers, Home Farm, Tollerton Road, Huby, York, YO61 1JB.

10am to 12.30pm

Hazel Brow Farm, Low Row, Richmond, DL11 6ND.

11am to 3pm

Lawns Farm, York Lane, Morthen, South Yorkshire, S66 9JH.

10am to 2pm

Loxley Valley Community Farm, Rodney Hill (next to the allotments), Loxley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 6TA.

12pm to 3pm

Rock House Farm, Station Road, Newton le Willows, Bedale, DL81SX.

11am to 3pm