This summer, we took drastic action to protect the farm's future. The first lockdown wiped a third off our income for the year and we had to cut costs, and lose staff, in order to survive.
This second lockdown has been a further blow. We will get through it but need help from you, our community, to get back to being the vibrant community farm you know and love.
The virus has taken a lot from us all this year. Let's make next year count. Let's make joy contagious.
Please donate to our appeal this Christmas or buy a gift - and invest in happy farm memories for your children, your family and our community next year and beyond.
Our Covid Story
A lifetime ago in March, we were getting ready for our favourite time of the year. Spring. Our ewes had started early, surprising us with lambs in January, and our farmer, Richie, was about to begin his yearly search for orphan lambs in the region to rehome. Pet lambs need a lot of care and patience, meaning early starts and late finishes for our team. But watching them grow up and hearing the squeals of excitement from children and adults alike when they visit makes it worthwhile.
Then Covid happened...
Overnight, these - and many other exciting plans - were scrapped and our farm was forced to close. We hoped it would be over within a few weeks and we could still share the joys of spring with our community. This was not to be and the weeks wore on.
But all things must pass…
We reopened the farm to the public at the earliest opportunity and with relief, happiness but also some nervousness we eased the farm gates open once again on 4th July. We were moved by the response from you all. You told us how happy you were to be back at the farm, how safe you felt and how much you'd missed the animals. We, and they, had missed you too. You didn’t mind paying a small entrance fee to help us get back on our feet and with those fees, we could make the farm safe and provide free entry for some of those hardest hit by the pandemic.
However, we were quietly struggling...
In those few months of closure, a huge amount of damage had been done - the loss of trading and income over our busy spring season had wiped a third off our income for the year. To save the farm, we took the difficult decision to make redundancies in the summer, losing half our team. And with that, losing our ability to offer many of the things at the farm which you know and love best. Animal petting, lamb feeding, farmer's clubs and educational events which teach your children where food comes from. These are the moments we love most about the farm too - seeing the joy that close encounters with nature and farm life bring to you all. We want to get that back.
So we're asking for your help...
We know that Covid isn't going away soon and that life has changed, for the foreseeable future. But we are adaptable, resilient and we have plans to make spring and summer 2021 really count - to make up for what we all lost this year. We want to bring back those opportunities to interact with our animals and our team, in Covid-safe ways. We know how to do it but we need your help to make it happen.
Raising £5,000 this Christmas would mean we can restore some of these events in spring and summer next year, and get back to being the farm you know and love. We could rehome orphan lambs and run events that offer your family, or your bubble, the chance to be part of their early life. Your support would also enrich our training programmes for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. And it can help us welcome more volunteers to the farm too.
What your money will support…
We are resourceful and always careful with everything that our community, and nature, gives to us. It costs us £5 to fund travel expenses and lunch for one of our amazing volunteers. £30 is the cost for a full day’s training for Robin or Amy – our inspirational trainees. For £150, we are able to buy enough milk to feed our orphan lambs for the whole of spring.
We promise to make every donation count and work tirelessly to get back to the farm you know and love. All our donors will have their name on our farmyard for the whole of next year. For larger gifts, we have created some rewards including animal sponsorship, commemorative bees and team building days.
Please support us if you can. We’re a community farm – we depend on each other.
This is a place for growing.
Plants, fruit and veg, animals, but most of all, people.
We cultivate joy here. And learning.
We nurture self-confidence and a sense of belonging.
You’ll feel it as soon as you walk through our door.
Lives are being enriched. Needs are being nourished.
It couldn’t happen without our volunteers. Or your donations.
We’re a charity. Run for people, not for profits.
A community-spirited place where everyone is welcome. And valued.
This is a happy place.
A wholesome place. A human place.