1500 head to James Hutton Institute Open Farm Sunday

Maisie McCrimmon tries out the crazy chemistry area with a JHI scientist.
Maisie McCrimmon tries out the crazy chemistry area with a JHI scientist.

The James Hutton Institute (JHI) joined farms in Courier Country for a national open day.

More than 1500 people visited the agricultural research centre in Invergowrie on Sunday.

The scientific centre was one of several farms to open its doors to members of the public as part of National Farm Open Day.

The JHI offered a range of free activities to show how farming and the environment can work better together, and to connect visitors to the farms that their food comes from.

Families were also entertained with tractor rides, lambs and demonstrations of farm equipment.

Agricultural scientists also put on displays showing how the JHI is working to combat plant and crop disease.

Open Farm Sunday is an event arranged since 2006 by Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), an organisation that aims to build public awareness of food and farming and develop more environmentally friendly farming systems.

The JHI is a LEAF innovation centre, and was joined by more than 300 farms throughout Britain in welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors for the event.

Caroline Drummond, LEAF’s chief executive, said: “Community engagement is a core part of sustainable farming.

“This is why LEAF set up Open Farm Sunday in 2006 and we continue to drive forward this vital initiative which has achieved so much.

The success of Open Farm Sunday has been achieved through industry collaboration with our sponsors, and the hundreds of dedicated farmers and their helpers who put on such great events.

“I would like to thank everyone for what has been achieved so far. But we have only just begun.

“Our vision is to continue to grow the reach and impact of Open Farm Sunday and our developing Open Farm School Days over the next ten years so that more families and school children can visit a farm and discover what sustainable farming is all about.

“Ultimately we want to create an opportunity whereby everyone has the chance to visit a farm and discover the vital work of British farmers in growing our food and enhancing the countryside, so that they fully value farming and the food they eat.”

“We urge everyone working in the farming and food industry to join us to help make this happen.”