FINAL VISITOR numbers for LEAF's Open Farm Sunday 2018 have shown that the annual event is now more popular with the public than ever before.

A total of 293,650 people visited a farm on Sunday June 10 this year, some 2254 more than the previous record, which was achieved in 2015.

For OFS 2018, a total of 362 farms opened across the country to welcome visitors, including 20 in Scotland. Of those farms, 26% were taking part for the first time.

Events spanned all shapes, sizes and enterprises; from organised walks for a few local people, to larger events with visitors in the hundreds and thousands – but the popularity of the day was reflected in the average number of visitors to each event, which was 811, the highest on record.

The total number of visitors to a farm for LEAF OFS over the last 13 years has now reached over 2.2 million, testament to the impact the day has on connecting the public with farming and where their food comes from.

LEAF manager Annabel Shackleton said: “We are thrilled that more people than ever before chose to visit an OFS event this year. These figures show the public’s growing interest in, and support for, British farming and all that it delivers. It was also great to see so many farms opening for the first time and we hope that even more will do so next year on June 9.

"LEAF OFS is a unique opportunity for farmers to showcase all they do and it is vital that as many farmers get involved as possible. Our thanks to everyone – farmers, volunteers and sponsors - for making 2018 such a huge success and we look forward to your continued support in 2019.”