Family plan open farm Sunday fun

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One of the UK’s leading events is set to take place as farms open their gates for Open Farm Sunday.

Curlew Fields Farm, near Hessay, has been chosen to partner with dairy firm Arla for the national day, which takes place on Sunday, June 11.

The Hildreth family have been inviting the public onto their farm for the annual event for the last five years – and this promises to be the best yet. With support from the organisers of Tockwith Show, they have designed a series of attractions, displays and opportunities for people to learn about where their food comes from and how a modern farm operates.

Farmer Roger Hildreth said: “Open Farm Sunday is becoming a real community event for us. As well as the many people who come through the gates, we have lots of support from the Tockwith Show committee to help spread the word.

“It’s also great to be supported by the team at Arla as their leading farm for Open Farm Sunday. Being based not too far from their Leeds headquarters, we have a really good relationship with them.”

This year’s event, which runs from 11am-4pm, will include a working sheepdog demonstration, an exhibit focusing on farmland birds, a chance to try sausage-making, and a display from Arla.

There will also be family activities including a welly-wanging competition, and Ainsty Farm Shop will be providing refreshments.

Meanwhile, Roger’s son Tom, 25, is preparing to showcase the family’s work at this year’s Tockwith Show, which takes place on Sunday, August 6.

He joined the committee and ran his first display at last year’s show, sharing details about a modern dairy farm with thousands of visitors.

Show co-chairman Sam Blacker said: “The partnership between the show and the Hildreth family works really well.

“The show has always been an opportunity for people to learn about the countryside and the activities that go on all around us. Through Open Farm Sunday, the Hildreths are doing very similar work – bringing people onto a farm to see where their food comes from and the people and animals that help to put milk into their fridges.”

Roger added: “Last year’s open Farm Sunday was a record-breaker for us, with more than 600 people coming through the gates in just a few hours.

“We’re expecting this year to be even busier and we hope to do even more to increase understanding of what we, and farmers up and down the country, do every day.”

Open Farm Sunday takes place on Sunday, June 11 from 11am to 4pm, at Curlew Fields Farm, New Road, Hessay, YO26 8JS. For more details about the national event, visit www.farmsunday.org.