On June 9th 2018 we hosted an Open Farm Sunday event at one of our landowners farms in North Norfolk. We were joined by other producers with whom we share the rotation and who produce energy crops and fresh produce, so we could give the visiting public the big picture in terms of sustainability and good agricultural practice.
The sun shone and visitors were able to enjoy tractor and trailer rides around the farm to see all the different crops and livestock, including a sheep shearing demonstration and a beef suckler herd. They learned how a mixed farming system is key to the success of farming the light land of the estate; crops would not be commercially viable long term without livestock replenishing valuable manure and organic matter back into the soil, combined with irrigation from large reservoirs that are filled during the winter when rainfall is at its highest levels.
Visitors were also able to spend time in the tranquil pastures of a wildflower meadow opposite the pig unit, where we took the opportunity to explain about outdoor reared pig production and environmental stewardship, whilst keeping our unit health status at its highest level and not compromising biosecurity. The location also reinforced the measures we have used to minimise our environmental impact, as the meadow clearly demonstrated the abundance of wildlife we work alongside every day.
The day was a great success, many thanks to everyone who joined us. We plan to host an Open Farm Sunday event every two years. The date in 2019 is yet to be agreed. www.farmsunday.org