Monday, 17 September 2012
A Day Out At Nottingham's Stonebridge City Farm
Set up in the late 1970s to provide a much-needed green space for education and involvement, the farm has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The core of the farm's work is done by volunteers with a supported placement programme available for adults with learning difficulties who help with the work and the site is designed to be accessible to everyone including families with young children, people with disabilities and parties from schools and colleges.
With goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, geese, rabbits, cats, guinea pigs, a Shetland pony, a tortoise plus many others animal and vegetable residents, the farm also regularly acts as a rescue centre. "We've had ex-factory hens that we've rescued, birds that people have had to give away because they can't look after them any more and we've also got some rescued baby rabbits in at the moment looking for new homes," says Marie Wood who works at the farm. Working with the animals is the most popular activity with the farm's volunteers but there are also many other services on offer. "We run courses helping people get back into work such as CV writing, interview techniques, food hygiene, health and safety and first aid," she adds.
With £400 being spent every month just on the animal feed, the farm is constantly looking for new ways to finance the running costs. "It's really important as a charity that we're sustainable because it's got to be run as a business," says manager Marie Rogers. "We have to find ways of earning money as we don't charge for entry to the farm and we really want people to become 'friends' of the farm and donate £10 a year." Money donations are always welcome and there are colourful donation boxes dotted around the farm but other forms of contributions are much needed too. "We could really do with an industrial fridge and freezer for the cafe! And although we have lots of volunteers who want to work with the animals and we always welcome more, we also really need people to work in the shop and also people with particular skills for our management committee to help run our social media, to write our newsletters and what I'd love to build up are WRVS type helpers who meet and greet visitors, show people round and be a point of contact around the farm.
"Every day we have new people coming to the farm who have never been here before and we really want the farm to become one of Nottingham's leading tourist attractions. We want to work with all sorts of people and we have people here with learning difficulties and it's really nice to work with them and bring them together with people and visitors who don't have disabilities. But we also need to find out from Nottingham what the people want from the farm too."
With regular fine dining events, workshops, a recent new Murder Mystery evening and television appearances in Superscrimpers and Billy Ivory's A Thing Called Love, the extraordinary and diverse Stonebridge City Farm is diversifying and growing in popularity all the time. It's the ultimate uniquely feel-good, fresh-air Nottingham city day out and confidentially, once you've felt and fed your own warm and lovely inner glow at this soothing haven where you can recharge and chill out and play with the most adorable bunnies and kitties in town, we guarantee you'll fall in love with the farm and go back for more visits. If you live in Nottingham, it's is a must-see destination because it's not owned by any public institution, it belongs to us, the people of Nottingham- go along, have fun and see what you can do to help at our very own inner-city farm.
You can see lots and lots more photos of Stonebridge City Farm in glorious technicolor on our Facebook page here
Stonebridge City Farm is open every day of the year 10am-3pm winter seasons and 10am-4pm summer seasons (Sundays at 11am) and admission is free. You can find out more about the farm on their website http://www.stonebridgecityfarm.com/