Across the country, farms and farm shops are preparing to throw open their doors this weekend for the annual Open Farm Sunday - and that's no different in the North East. 

Farms in County Durham, Teesside, Tyneside, North Yorkshire and Northumberland are preparing to open their gates to entertain and educate the public as Open Farm Sunday returns on Sunday, June 9. 

The annual event offers a chance to see how farmers grow food, care for livestock and manage the environment.

Farms across the region are offering guided tours, machinery demonstrations, animal experiences and wildlife discussions.

Events in our region on June 9 include:

Hopper House Farm, Sedgefield, County Durham (TS21 2HL)

Hopper House Farm will be opening its gates

so you can see a working dairy farm in action using its four Lely robots to milk the cows 24/7. There will be opportunities to see the calves, the hens and a selection of farm machinery.

The farm adds: "Our on site brewery will be open, a food van will be serving and we will be hosting a family fun day in one of our fields with bouncy castle face painting,hair braiding, treasure hunts, cake stall and refreshments, raffles and much more.

"We are raising money for Project Nakuru supporting children living in poverty in Kenya so would love a donation for this great day out."

Raby Home Farm and Farmers' Market, Raby Castle, Staindrop, County Durham (DL2 3AH).

At Raby, you will be able to find out more about their Regenerative Farming operations as well as meet countryside organisations and local producers at their farmers market.

Bowlees Farm, Newbiggin, County Durham, DL12 0XF

Bowlees Open Farm Sunday opens the gates at 10.30am, to put on events like a farrier hot shoeing a horse, sheep being clipped, and a shooting stall from the local gamekeeper.

The friendly goats, sheep, cows and calves, pigs and many small animals will be out and about to see, and there will be a tractor to sit in and have photos. The largest animal of them all, Oliver the horse, can be seen on the farm walk.

The farm walk can be walked anytime throughout the day,  and there will be volunteers around the walk with activities and talks.

Wheelbirks Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7HY

At Wheelbirks Farm, this year, you can look forward to tractor & trailer rides, walking farm tours, milking parlour experiences, meeting the animals, chick holding and face painting. 

The farm said: "The day will be from 10am - 5pm, with the Parlour open during these hours selling our usual delicious home made food, hot and cold drinks and ice cream!

"This year is our thirteenth Open Farm Sunday and will be welcoming visitors to see behind the scenes of Wheelbirks!

"Hugh and Tom Richardson, who farm here and their families welcome you."

Nafferton Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland, NE43 7XD. 

Newcastle University are opening up their farms for an evening farm tour.

A University spokesperson said: "We are hosting a series of tours over three evenings around the University Farms.

"The tour will be a tractor-trailer ride around either Cockle Park or Nafferton where you can see how the farm operates, learn about our research and teaching activities and see how we are working to improve the environment across our farms."

Each tour will last around 90 minutes, with some refreshments at the end. Booking is essential as numbers are limited at each event.

Nafferton Farm is part of Newcastle University and undertakes research and teaching alongside its farming operations. The farm is a mixed farm with a dairy herd, and arable covering around 300 hectares.

Westhills Farm, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 7XF.

Westhills will be opening up their farm and their farm shop to visitors this weekend, for the first time, with two guided farm walks to look at cows, calves, sheep and lambs, and discuss regenerative farming. 

The farmers said: "We are delighted to be hosting this event for the first time! We have divided the visits into two ninety-minute slots so that you can see our wool exhibition and enjoy a farm tour in plenty of time.

"Book onto a guided farm walk at either 2.30pm or 3.30pm, where we will look at our cows, calves, sheep and lambs. We will discuss our regenerative farming methods, smell the soil and discuss the effects on our environment and our food of farming methods.

"Look at our wool exhibition (open from 2pm-5pm) and talk to Sarah about our sheep’s wool and the many things that are made from it. Find out about the different processes it goes through to get there.

"There will be the opportunity to buy some of the products made from the animals on our farm. We look forward to seeing you – don’t forget to book a free ticket for either the first or second session."

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

This is a "fun and educational family day" to enjoy a mixed dairy and arable farm set in the rolling hills of North Yorkshire.

Activities on the day will include; Butter making, a tour of the dairy farm, welly throwing, face painting, tractor rides, hog roast, coffee van and more. 

 It's a free day and no booking is required, though additional costs may apply.

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

A guided walk with project founder Alwyn Craven around the Forest of Flowers nature reserve, taking in large areas of new woodland undersown with wildflowers.

Since 2016, Home Farm's 74 acres of arable and grassland have been transformed into new native woodland to provide a haven for wildlife. Much of this was achieved using the innovative process of inverting the topsoil, followed by sowing wildflowers amongst the newly planted trees.

During the walk, visitors will see large areas of wildflower habitat and woodland planted between 2016/17. You will also get to see 17 new ponds that were created since 2020. While getting up close to the trees and wildflowers, Alwyn will talk about his motivations, the process of establishing the new woodland, grants and funding opportunities, and plans for future management. Alwyn will also offer guidance to help identify wildflowers and tree species.

Visitors will also get to meet our goats and new pigs on the walk.

Rock House Farm and Farm Shop, Station Road, Newton Le Willows, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL81SX. 

This Bedale farm will open their doors to provide an insight into everything that goes on behind the farm gate. 

The farmers said: "We will explain how we rear our animals, how we keep them fed and watered and how we look after our ancient hay meadows which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The farm shop will be open and some home-produced goodies to try in our café.

The highlight for many is the hay meadows walk where you can experience the flora, fauna and wildlife and the lovely view down Wensleydale and enjoy how we farm with nature in a farmed environment first hand."

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

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Hazel Brow Farm is a traditional working farm based in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Sheep, cows, geese, and goats are among the animals reared on the farm.

For Open Farm Sunday, you'll be able to meet the farm animals, see sheep clipping and sheepdog herding demonstrations, go on alpaca w.alks, and see educational talks and demonstrations from Pepperfield Farm Hedgehog Rescue

Additionally, craft activities, river dipping, and bumblebee walks will be on the cards for guests.