Suffolk farmers who have chosen to open their gates to the public as part of a UK-wide agricultural showcase this weekend have been overwhelmed by the response.

Kenton Hall Farm at Debenham said nearly 2,000 people have registered to take part in its Open Farm Sunday event on June 9.

The event is free of charge but the estate is asking everyone who wants to attend to register online via its website so that it can plan for the right numbers.

The farm is one of hundreds across the UK participating in the 18th annual event - which is organised every year by Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) - a farm charity which promotes sustainable food production.

Lucy Davenport, Tom McVeigh and Emily Aitchison who are hosting the event 
Open Farm Sunday is a chance for the public to get behind the scenes and see where their food comes from, how it is produced - and the farmers who make it happen.

At Kenton Hall, second generation farmers and siblings Lucy Davenport, Emily Aitchison and Tom McVeigh and a host of volunteers will be on hand to show what they do at Kenton Hall and how they look after the countryside.

The aim is for visitors to come away with a deeper understanding of farming and the countryside.

Visitors will get to enjoy the countryside (Image: Kenton Hall)

The event is free and features a farmers’ market, tractor and trailer rides, pop-up tea-room and hot food, a machinery area, a chance to meet the animals, donkey rides and alpaca walking.

Lucy said it was "a fantastic opportunity for us a family to showcase our farm and great British farming".

"We are busy creating a great day out for the whole family, we welcome everyone on June 9 to Kenton Hall Farm to see our farming activity and what goes on behind the farm gates," she added.

There will be tractor and trailer rides (Image: Kenton Hall)

Emily said there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make the day truly memorable and a fantastic day out for all the family.

Tractor and trailer rides would offer a great chance to see the farm and all its workings, said Tom.

"We are working really hard to improve the natural environment and producing top quality food. We look forward to showing the public the work we have been doing," he added.

The farm will be open from 10am to 3pm and there will be guided tours around the farm throughout the day.

Kenton Hall (Image: CLA)

Visitors will also be able to get up close to the machinery used on farm and learn more about what happens. 

Some farms which are opening up are LEAF Marque certified which means that they are farming regeneratively, nurturing healthy soil, protecting water, supporting nature conservation and enhancing wildlife habitats.

Open Farm Sunday manager Annabel Shackleton said farmers were often unsung heroes who go to great lengths to protect the natural environment around them while producing nutritious food for the nation.

"Farming with nature is a vital battleground on which our heroes live, thrive and sometimes struggle - there are challenges we don’t see, threats that are ongoing, victories that aren’t recognised," she said.

Tom McVeigh and Lucy Davenport (Image: Kenton Hall)

But a recent study commissioned by LEAF suggests many people aren't familiar with what farmers do on a daily basis.

More than a third (35%) don't know farmers plant and maintain hedgerows and woodland and 62% had no idea they plant and manage wildflowers, while 69% don't know they create ponds for wildlife.

The majority (57%) had no idea farmers maintain footpaths.

However,  four out of 10 wanted to learn more about the work farmers do and half wanted to see more food labels indicating sustainability of products.

The events were "a wonderful opportunity for visitors of all ages to get closer to farming and the people that make it happen", said Annabel.

"Each event is unique, each farm is different and every farmer too, but what they all share is a passion for farming, amazing expertise and a commitment to farming with nature and caring for the countryside.

“Some farms have been passed down through the generations, others are managed by those who have chosen farming as their career.

"Each has its own special story to tell and Open Farm Sunday is the ideal chance to come and hear it.”

Others in the region taking part in Open Farm Sunday include Colchester Oyster Fishery, Deersbrook Farm near Braintree, Hunts Hall Farm at Halstead, The Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Rare Breeds Centre, Valley Farm Equestrian Leisure at Wickham Market, and Wilkin & Sons Ltd at Tiptree near Colchester.

To find out more about Kenton Hall Farm and other Open Farm Sunday events near you visit and