Twenty three farms across Northern Ireland will open their doors to the public for free this weekend as part of Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016.
Nine new farms will open their doors to the public including star of UTV Rare Breed series, James Alexander in Randalstown. Previous hosts are kindly opening their gates once again and making a return will be Forthill Farm near Tandragee run by Kenny Gracey, whose animals have featured on the small screen including hit TV shows HBO’s Game of Thrones, BBC series Blandings and BAFTA winning short film Boogaloo.
The Year of Food and Drink theme of Love Dairy will be celebrated in particular at CAFRE Greenmount, Tickety Moo and new host, Donagh Cottage Farm in County Down. As part of the Year of Food and Drink celebrations, there will be a free competition at each farm to win a hamper of local food produce for one lucky family to take home with them.
Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend Chairman and UFU President Barclay Bell said, “From Limavady to Lisnavoe in Fermanagh, Ballycastle to Ballyroney in County Down and from Portadown to Randalstown we have a wide range of farms opening up this weekend giving free access to the public. All our farmers have been working hard for a couple of weeks to get their yards looking their best for the public to visit – all we need now is some good weather!”
Bank of Ireland UK Head of Agriculture NI William Thompson added, “If you have never had the chance to visit a working farm before – this is the perfect opportunity. Each farm event is unique and there is a lot to see and do, with activities to keep children entertained and also learn more about where their food comes from. It is a great, free day out for all the family which Bank of Ireland is proud to support.”
On Saturday 18th June, 23 farms will be open whilst on Sunday 19th June, which is also Father’s Day, 15 farms will take part. Visitors are asked to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to the farms that they visit and to also note that dogs are not permitted.
Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend is delivered by Ulster Farmers’ Union and is sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK and supported by Tesco, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, NFU Mutual and ASDA. The weekend would not be possible without the help and resources of Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, CAFRE, DEARA, the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, Food NI and the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.
The event, in its fifth year has attracted almost 60,000 people throughout that time
For more information, visit the website www.openfarmweekend.com where you can find details on the activities available at each farm and the unique opening hours. You can also follow on Twitter @BOIopenfarm and like Open Farm Weekend on Facebook.