Farmers and crofters are being encouraged to take part in this year’s Open Farm Sunday event.
The number of producers already signed up for the annual farming open day, which takes place on June 9, is up 10% on last year.
However, organisers – Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) – want even more people to get involved.
“We are calling on more farmers across England, Scotland and Wales, of every size and every sector, to fill the gaps across the country, open their farm and to share their story,” said Leaf Open Farm Sunday manager, Annabel Shackleton.
“We need more farms to respond to the public’s compelling appetite to visit a farm and learn more about where their food comes from and how it is produced.
“It’s the perfect time for farmers to strengthen the connection with their customers when the industry is being challenged by policy changes, dietary trends and, potentially, of cheap foreign imports.”
She said there was still time left to organise a small event, such as a farm walk for a few people.
“You decide what size of event to run, what visitors see, for how long and you can manage visitor numbers through our free online ticketing service,” said Mrs Shackleton.
“Every event matters and every conversation helps bridge that gap between producers and consumers.”
One producer hosting an event next month is Michelle Anderson-Carroll of River Croft, near Farr, south of Inverness.
She said: “The best part of the day for us is the happiness on the faces of children and the lovely feedback we receive after the event from people who have learned something from their visit.”
Mrs Shackleton said a survey of visitors to last year’s event found 92% had a greater appreciation of the work farmers do after visiting a farm, and 78% were now more proactively looking to buy British food.
More information is available here.