LEAF chief executive, Caroline Drummond said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to confirm the merger between LEAF and FACE. It will deliver multiple benefits to our partners and stakeholders and enable us to further strengthen LEAF’s public engagement activities and the vital work the FACE team do in taking agriculture into schools. I am looking forward to working with the new team to deliver an efficient and effective strategy, that will increase and improve the public’s education, understanding and appreciation of farming, food production and the environment.”

Caroline Drummond will continue as chief executive of LEAF and a new director of education and public engagement will be appointed this summer, to replace Dan Corlett, who is leaving FACE to pursue another career.

Commenting on the merger, FACE chairman, Ian Pigott said: “Since the inception of FACE in 2001, it has achieved outstanding results. Through the training of teachers and farmers, advising industry on the code of practice and leading the on-line resource portal ‘Countryside Classroom’, huge numbers of young people have benefitted. The opportunity to merge with LEAF heralds a new dawn for public engagement and education; we look forward to delivering even greater results for all involved in two of Britain’s proudest sectors, farming and education.”

The merger comes after another highly successful LEAF Open Farm Sunday, which saw 250,000 people visit a farm on 11 June. LEAF is now looking to build on its position as a leader in public engagement in food, farming and the environment and maximising FACE’s expertise in the education sector. The newly expanded organisation will offer stakeholders and partners, improved efficiencies, enhanced engagement and will create even more opportunities for educating and engaging the public with food and farming.