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Farm-science to inspire the public at Open Farm Sunday 2016

Copyright: LEAF
News from: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
News from: Linking Environment And Farming

BBSRC has funded three new public engagement projects to produce on-farm activities that will inspire and educate people about the science behind farming and food production. The activities will be used by farmers and visiting scientists at LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday on 5 June 2016.

Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is the farming industry’s annual open day where the public can find out how their food is produced and the work farmers do to manage the countryside. Since 2006, over 1,000 farmers across the UK have opened their gates and welcomed over 1.5M people onto farms across the UK. The activities funded by BBSRC focus on egg production and soils, as well as ‘whole farm’ science to enable visitors to understand the importance of farming within the context of food security and raise awareness of how UK bioscience underpins the agricultural industry.

Dr Patrick Middleton, Head of Engagement at BBSRC, said: “LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday is such a great opportunity to engage people with the relevance of research to farming and, ultimately, the food on our plates.”

Annabel Shackleton, Manager of LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday, said: “Connecting people with their food, where it comes from and how it’s grown is a fundamental part of delivering more sustainable food and farming. The more we understand about our food and how it is produced, the more we come to value it and the work farmers do. LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday enables people to discover the world of farming first hand. We are delighted to be working together with BBSRC to bring visitors a range of exciting new hands-on activities which will captivate, engage and inform people about the science behind farming and how science is helping farmers to meet the challenges of climate change, a growing global population and rising health issues in innovative and sustainable ways.”

Funded projects:

  • Improving soil to improve our food – Professor Duncan Cameron, The University of Sheffield
    A root-viewing based activity to highlight to a family audience the importance of maintaining healthy soil for our crops and livestock
  • Where’s the science in that? – Dr Simon Griffiths, John Innes Centre
    An activity to encourage visitors to learn about the science involved in the arable year
  • Cute eggs – Dr Ian Dunn, The Roslin Institute
    An activity to communicate the importance of the invisible protein cuticle that surrounds an egg in protecting it from harmful bacteria

All registered Open Farm Sunday host farmers will be able to gain free access to these new science-based resources, together with a wide range of other resources when they register to host an Open Farm Sunday event to be held on 5 June 2016.

For more information on Open Farm Sunday visit:



BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, BBSRC invested over £509M in world-class bioscience in 2014-15. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.


UK Research and Innovation Media Office

Tags: farming food funding people BBSRC press release