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  • Taskscape Associates

Open Farm Sunday 

The Cranborne Chase Cluster get involved in outreach and engagement activities...

Participants on a 'bug safari' | © GWCT/FWAG

The 9th June marked Open Farm Sunday in FRAMEwork's Cranborne Chase Farmer Cluster and our cluster members ran some family activities at Rawston Farm, attended by 1800 people!

They held a display of crops and wild plants which children could use to make bracelets or crowns and offered ‘bug safaris’ for families to go out on the farm with a sweep net and see what they could find and identify.

It was a drizzly and overcast day, but our participants found plenty of meadow browns, green fly, flower beetles, grass bugs, orb web spiders, and a lot of snails after the heavy rain shower!

FRAMEwork consortium partner GWCT attended with a stand on their Owl Box Initiative, describing their conservation work across the cluster, with a barn owl pellet dissection activity for the children.

The Importance of Pollinators for UK Farming

Pollinators play a pivotal role in natural pest control and ecosystem health within UK farming. By aiding plant reproduction, they encourage the growth of habitats that support beneficial predator species, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. This interconnected web of pollination enhances soil health, plant diversity, and crop resilience, underpinning more sustainable agriculture and robust ecosystems. The UK PoMS (Pollinator Monitoring Scheme) seeks to better understand insect pollinator populations across the UK.

In the UK there's a notable decline in pollinators. 42% pollinator species became less widespread between 1980-2022 with 21% exhibiting a strong decline. The decline impacts not only the species themselves but also the pollination services critical for agricultural productivity and the sustenance of wild flowers. This is ocurring within global context where 40% of invertebrate pollinator species, particularly bees and butterflies, are facing extinction - while being crucial for the reproduction of over 75% of food crops and 90% of flowering plants.

Open Farm Sundays

Kick-started by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) in 2006, Open Farm Sunday is a UK initiative that encourages farmers to open their farms to the public for one day each year, usually in June. This movement aims to connect people with the farmers who produce their food, offering a firsthand look at the realities of modern farming and food production. Through farm tours, demonstrations, and activities, visitors gain insight into the agriculture industry, fostering greater understanding and support for farming communities. It's a unique opportunity for families to learn about where their food comes from in an engaging, interactive environment. And for all parties to explore more sustainable practices and develop environmental awareness of how agriculture and nature interact where they live.


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