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Open Farm Sunday founder becomes trustee of UK charity

Founder of Open Farm Sunday and experienced farmer, Ian Piggott OBE, has become a trustee of leading UK educational charity The Ernest Cook Trust.

Ian has 25 years’ experience managing a diverse family farming business at Harpenden, on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. 

Ian runs the UK’s national farm open day – Open Farm Sunday – in 2006. He also founded his own charity, The Farmschool, which, since 2014, has been reconnecting children and young people with food, farming and the environment, by enabling them to visit and experience a working arable farm, as well as take part in the farm’s innovative programmes. Ian also set up a business park in the farmyard, catering for microbusinesses. 

In 2015, Ian was awarded the OBE for his services to agricultural and countryside education.

“Having been fortunate to be involved with two charities that have benefitted from The Ernest Cook Trust, I have always had a keen interest in its work,” said Ian. “As a hands-on tenant farmer, I am looking forward to the opportunity to liaise with the Trust’s tenants and help deliver positive economic and environmental progress across its farming portfolio.”

Based in Gloucestershire, The Ernest Cook Trust is one of the UK’s foremost funders and providers of outdoor learning. It runs outdoor learning opportunities for children, young people, their families and communities on its own land as well as with partner estates. Every year, it also gives out hundreds of thousands of pounds in grants to further Outdoor Learning.

Its Chairman of Trustees, Andrew Christie-Miller, said: “We are pleased to welcome Ian to our Board of Trustees. We were looking for someone with first-hand farming experience, whose values align with ours in supporting young people and communities to learn from the land. In Ian, we have found just the right person who will also help us to address the ongoing challenges of agriculture, diversification and conservation. He will be an excellent addition to our hardworking Board.”

For more information about the work of The Ernest Cook Trust, visit

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