Harpenden farmer becomes a national hero

PUBLISHED: 12:15 20 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010

Ian Pigott pioneered Open Farm Sundays

Ian Pigott pioneered Open Farm Sundays

A FARMER who strives to lead a rural revolution has been named a national hero. Ian Pigott, aged 39, won the Rural Hero title at the Countryside Alliance Awards in London this week for his innovative Open Farm Sunday scheme. Ian, who lives and works on T

A FARMER who strives to lead a rural revolution has been named a national hero.

Ian Pigott, aged 39, won the Rural Hero title at the Countryside Alliance Awards in London this week for his innovative Open Farm Sunday scheme.

Ian, who lives and works on Thrales End Farm in Harpenden, launched the farming campaign in 2006 in a bid to reconnect the farmer with the consumer and there are now more than 450 farms nationwide who partake in the annual Open Farm Sunday.

Ian, who hosted the first such event at his Annables Farm in Kinsbourne Green, beat celebrity contenders Clarissa Dickson-Wright and Janet Street-Porter to the title.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart, who chaired the national judging panel, praised Ian's scheme at the awards and said: "Simple ideas are often the best and Open Farm Sunday has a simple aim -- to reconnect farming with the consumer. We all applaud Ian for what he has done for this industry."

Ian, who is married with two young children, said that he was surprised to have won and added: "It was a great occasion and I got to talk to people who were equally passionate about farming. I'm flattered by the recognition and hope that it will help Open Farm Sunday grow and grow.

"The farming community is incredibly harmonious and all farmers care about educating their consumers so I'm optimistic about the scheme's future. Eventually they'll be thousands of farms open across the country for people to explore on one special day of the year."

This year's Open Farm Sunday will be held on June 7 and Ian has promised a fun family day out with tractor rides, wildlife walks and plenty of opportunities to learn more about what his farm produces.

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