Farmer Derek Wilkinson is keen to show city-dwellers the ways of the country. Kat Baldwyn reports.
Eight hundred workers descend on Dunnington Court Farm at the height of summer to pack and dispatch salad and vegetables to supermarkets.
For much of the year the work of the Alcester farm stays hidden, but for one Sunday in June it will be throwing open its doors to the public to give them an insight into what life on a farm is really like.
“It’s a two-way thing,” said 44-year-old Derek Wilknson, managing director of the 4,500-acre farm. “It gives the public a chance to see what we do and the chance to ask questions and raise any concerns they may have.
"But it also gives us the chance to show people what really happens on the farm. A lot of people in the area see us go by on our tractors but don’t know much, if anything, about the farm itself.”
This year will be the third year the farm, which grows salad, onions, dwarf beans, runner beans and peas among other things, has opened to the public as part of Open Farm Sunday organised by Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) – a charity which helps farmers and producers to manage their farms efficiently and sustainably, producing good food with environmental care.
Last year, 184,000 visitors attended events on 420 farms to discover the story behind their food on the one day of the year farmers across the UK unite to open their farms to the public.
At Dunnington Court’s open day, tractor rides, games and a barbecue will take place alongside a host of information boards erected to explain the inner workings of the farm.
Derek, who was born and raised on farms in north Cheshire before moving to Warwickshire 12 years ago, says: “We’ll be able to show people exactly how their food is produced, right from preparing the land through to delivering the crops to the customer.
"Although we don’t normally have animals on the farm, there will be some there on the day so people can learn about that aspect too.
“It’s so important people are able to see and learn where their food is coming from and what happens to get it from the land to the supermarket.”