Opening to the public
The future viability of UK farming relies on an informed, engaged and committed public. Strong public support leads to market demand, fairer prices and favourable government policy. Soil Association is raising public awareness about the benefits of organic - from educational campaigns to our Open Farms Network.
Farmers' talk pack
This pack is designed to enable farmers and community members to present a short, age-appropriate talk to primary aged children (5-11). It includes a set of colour photographs to help bring organic farming to life in a classroom context.
The pack is available below as a main talk and a set of supporting photographs.
Get on my land!
A guide to hosting farm visits, open days and talks. This publication, in English and Welsh, is designed to help farmers who want to encourage people to visit their farm and see for themselves what is involved in organic farming.
The information was written with the help of farmers already welcoming visitors on to their farm. We hope it will support and encourage others to follow their lead.
The Organic Farm Trail Activity Book can be downloaded to provide some fun activities for young children on a farm visit. Find out how to make a 'map stick', a soil paint chart, a leaf rubbing and so much more...
HSE information sheets and risk assessment forms
Essential advice from the Health and Safety Executive for farmers responsible for open farms is contained within the Industry Code of Practice below. It is essential that you read and take note of the information in these documents if you are organising visits to your farm as by adhering to this advice will mean that you are showing an appropriate duty of care to your visitors. The Code of Practice Summary provides a useful overview of the health and safety issues to consider, whilst the Code of Practice Document provide the complete text.
A risk assessment is an essential requirement for all visits to farms - don't neglect it! A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to those entering the farm or using the farm's facilities. Assessing risk is an ongoing process and should be constantly monitored and regularly updated. Here are some basic guidelines, sample risk assessment forms, and blank forms for you to print off and complete:
Free footpath signs for Soil Association licensees
Millions of people walk footpaths each year, many which cross organic farms. These signs provide simple information about organic farming to walkers who, in the majority of cases, will probably not realise that (a) they are walking across an organic farm, or (b) the many benefits that organic farming can bring to the countryside they are enjoying.
The Soil Association's education department received funding from the Countryside Agency's Rural Recovery Fund to provide free sign packs for organic farmers to educate the public more about organic farming. The signs are small and are designed to fit on key gates, posts or stiles to inform walkers about organic farming. Topics include:
- Welcome to our organic farm
- Supporting wildlife
- Caring for the environment
- Animal welfare
- Look out for clover
- The living soil
- Thank you for visiting our organic farm
For more information or to order your free pack, please contact us on 0117 914 2440 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning on the 'Bio-Farm'
We are working with partner organisations in the EU to explore the most effective ways in which each country educates schools and the public on organic or 'bio-farms'. Funded through the EU’s Grundtvig Lifelong Learning programme, the project seeks to share best practice and understanding about how we can better work with organic farms in delivering on-farm education. Organisations from Germany, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic are involved in the project. More information will be included when the results of this work are compiled.