A Fenland farm has celebrated welcoming its 100,000th Open Farm Sunday visitor.

Park Farm at Thorney first took part in the Open Farm Sunday scheme in 2006 and expanded to opening for two days three years later.

The farm welcomed its 100,000th visitor at this year’s event.

Host farmer Michael Sly, who is NFU sugar board chair, said: “This year was our 17th open farm and vintage weekend, where we welcomed 12,237 visitors and, more importantly, our 100,000th visitor from when we started in 2006.

(Image: NFU)

“Our 100,000th visitor, Molly, and her parents, received a family hamper of products made from what we produce locally.

“But more importantly for Molly, she received a toy forage harvester and a model tractor, along with NFU activity books and pencils.”

Mr Sly reflects on how the event has grown from humble beginnings.

He said: “We started with a handful of visitors in 2006 and built from there.

(Image: NFU)

“In 2009 we welcomed the Peterborough Farm Preservation Society to expand the event to two days over the weekend. We missed 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions but bounced back in 2022.

“We offer a farm safari tour, which encompasses the crops grown, the environmental stewardship and wildlife in the Fens, with machinery old and new placed along the route. This year we conveyed 4,676 passengers over the weekend.”

Popular activities include the small livestock zone, the sheep show, and a ‘pick your own new potatoes’ patch, which raises funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, a farmers’ market, community barn and kids’ zone.

Among the stands from local organisations, visitors tried burger and butter making and learned about the benefits of pulses, cereals, Fenland soils, English mustard and sugar.

(Image: NFU)

Mr Sly said: “We could not put this event on without the tremendous support of local farmers, the Newborough YFC manning the car parks, the allied trades who exhibit and provide machinery, and the generosity of some local sponsors.

“It has truly become a community event linking so many together and supporting local charities and groups.”

Open Farm Sunday is managed nationally by environmental charity LEAF.

More than 225 farms across the country opened their gates this year.

(Image: NFU)