We believe that everyone has something to benefit from eating good food, enjoying the great outdoors and in caring for animals and our environment.
Originally Hundred River Farm was reminiscent of many other small dairy farms in the area. However, having already branched out into producing artisan ice cream 7 years ago, we decided to start the Hundred River Maize Maze. This now provides an affordable place for local families and children to have fun, play and relax in the summer holidays.
Now this is where we need your help ... We know that this little farm is the perfect location for a yearly programme of groups that engage children (yes, and parents) in learning through nature, animal care and arts and craft. We’ve got lots of passion and big ambitions but we’ll only get there with your support. See below on what we’re trying to do and what you can do to get involved.
Why are we doing this
Over the years we have had many people come to the farm for work experience who have immensely enjoyed their time with us. The therapeutic benefits seem to be naturally present and as such we have been slowly developing our facilities.
We are working to create harmony between people and the planet through farming and the outdoors. This could, for example, range from caring for animals to growing food and learning about ecosystems to name just a few. Encouraging curiosity and a better understanding of the world around us in young children, alongside using manual dexterity and caring for animals, is regularly demonstrated to improve social abilities and an individual's personal and mental wellbeing.
What we do already
For the last 4 years Hundred River Education has been delivering outdoor play sessions in local children's centres for pre-schoolers and parents. The natural beauty, rich environment and endless learning and development opportunities on our little farm provides the perfect setting for workshops and activities tailored for all ages and we feel now is the right time to realise our ambitions.
Hundred River Maze already has a play area with giant bubbles, sand pit and plenty of toys, making it perfectly appropriate for smaller children. We run daily activities like arts and crafts, drumming, tree planting and making bat boxes and in the mornings children can help us feed our farmyard friends in animal corner. Residents include chickens, goats, pigs, calves and guinea pigs.
We allow picnics at the Maze but also have a small cafe area with a selection of local and homemade food available. This includes our own beef burgers and homemade fries with Hundred River Artisan ice cream that are made right here on our farm.
What we’re asking for
We are proud that without the big expensive rides or bouncy pillows we focus our facilities and activities on encouraging children to play in the great outdoors and engage with nature. With your support and donations we will be building a sensory garden and vegetable patch with the help children and families participating in workshops with the ambition of providing sessions for disabled children in the future.
Our first priority is equipment like forks, spades, wellies and overalls for our participants as well as bug hunting kits and other smaller resources. We need to allocate a bit of money here for the boring bits like a website, promotional material, staff training and uniform but our next priority is getting a polytunnel. Lastly, if we reach our full target we would love to create or convert a small but cosy workspace for participants to shelter from the elements and enjoy a hot beverage in the colder seasons.
We need to reach £2,000 to be able to purchase the equipment we need to get started (spades, forks, overalls, wellies etc.) as well as a secure storage container to keep them in.
If we reach £3,000 we will be able to develop pretty things like the website, marketing materials and road signs so people can find us. We’ll also, use this for things like DBS checks and staff training - (the boring bits!).
At £4,500 we can then also purchase a polytunnel which will allow us to self propagate plants ready for our sensory garden and vegetable patch.
If we’re lucky enough to reach £6,500 we’ll be able to develop and build a beautiful sensory garden (using a variety of smells, textures and sounds that are particularly beneficial for disabled children) for participants to help build and enjoy.
Reaching the above targets would allow us to offer a wider range of activities but our final target would be the cherry on the cake; especially as we intend to start delivery in colder months in early 2017. If we succeed in reaching our goal of £10,000 we'll be able to build a small purposebuilt workspace that can be used to shelter from the elements in the winter months.
What sessions we’re offering
During term time we will initially be running two weekly morning (10am - 2pm) and two afternoon (3.30 - 4pm) sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During school holidays we’ll offer special events and activities as well as a monthly family funday on a sunday. Spaces to sessions will be allocated on a first come, first served basis however, if there is enough demand we would consider offering additional sessions.
MEMBERS ENTRY* £1 per session (Standard entry for non-members will be £3.50 for kids and £4 for adults - members have priority booking).
‘Old & New’ mornings
10am - 2pm every Tues & Thurs
These sessions are aimed at pre-schoolers but they are encouraged to bring their . This session is about playing outdoors, getting creative and exploring our environment. Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic and grandparents along.
‘Open tribe’ afternoons
3.30pm - 7.30pm every Tues & Thurs
This session is for the whole family and as inclusive as possible for any age to come and enjoy, we’ll be offering a seasonal programme of activities and workshops that will focus on practical hands on learning, animal care and the development of our garden/facilities.
10am - 4pm once a month
These more relaxed social sessions are open to all ages and will include free tea and coffee and optional activities.
If you’d like to know more, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
*MEMBERSHIP: £80 for 1 adult & 1 child for 6 month membership (£30 for additional children and £20 for additional adults)
£150 for a year membership (£50 for additional children and £30 for additional adults).