NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging farmers across his Region to open their gates to the public this June.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Rural Affairs and Agriculture, is calling on his constituents to take part in the farming industry’s annual open day on Sunday June 10.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), is one of the farming industry’s biggest success stories. Since the first Open Farm Sunday in 2006, over 1,600 farmers across the UK have opened their gates and welcomed two million people onto their farm for one Sunday each year.

Each open day event is based around the farm’s individual story and its particular industry, whether it be a farm walk for friends and neighbours or showing visitors how you check livestock, milk your cows or walk your crops.

Mr Hamilton said: “This is a wonderful idea, which I hope will have widespread support from farmers, as it gives the public a chance to see at first-hand how their food is produced and how the countryside is managed.   It is easy to forget that many town dwllers, children in particular, are not familiar with everyday farming activities and this Open day will give a greater understanding of what and how a farmer produces on his land.

“Last year, for the third year running, more than a quarter of a million people visited farms on Open Farm Sunday. However, out of a total of 358 farms, which opened their gates, only 16 farms in Wales took part, which was disappointing. The farms in Wales did, however, welcome 7,476 visitors, so it was a popular attraction.

“This is a great opportunity to allow young and old alike to see how a working farm is run, and to showcase the goods and services which farmers provide.  I would urge any farmers thinking of taking part to do so.

“I am a very keen supporter of Welsh/British farming and support any moves to highlight what our local farms have to offer. The Open Farm Sunday gives farmers the chance to show what they do and allows the public, many for the first time, to visit and be shown around a farm.

“For more information go to www.farmsunday.org.uk or nfu-cymru.org.uk.”

LEAF is a national charity that helps farmers improve the way they farm by encouraging them to take up Integrated Farming. It also helps to create a better public understanding of farming through our national network of Demonstration Farms, Innovation Centres and initiatives like Open Farm Sunday.

The organisation brings farmers and consumers together to raise awareness of how farmers are working in harmony with nature to produce good food with environmental care.

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