Category Archives: Community Cafe and Training Centre

The Farm’s 30th Birthday Celebration!

Wednesday 2nd August was the farm’s big 30th Birthday Family Fun Day Celebration.  The rain poured and the wind howled – but it did not stop people from coming and having a brilliant time. Hundreds of people braved the weather and enjoyed all the actvities. 

We had loads of different things to do all over the farm. In the Community Orchard  A Forgotten Landscape were making clay creatures, Avon Wildlife Trust were making a delicious foraged fruit stew and RSPB were all about identifying insects and bird song. 

The Brandon Trust had their amazing home grown produce for sale and you could look round their brilliant gardens.

In the Paddock you could try your hand at some giant wooden games with Pianeta Verde or even stilt walking!  The APE Project had brought some bikes along for a bike swap.  The goats were certainly really enjoying all the attention and extra food they got on that day.

Near the cafe there was music from Richard Hughes and Sophie to accompany the woodfired pizza making and eating! The pizza chefs worked incredibly hard meeting the high demand for top notch pizza.   There was also facepainting by Colour Junkie – children were wearing some really great and colourful designs.  Juicy Blitz were making badges and smoothies which is always great fun.

In the Water Vole Woodland the Children’s Centre had a variety of activities.

In front of the entrance was a fire engine that you could climb inside, brought along by Avonmouth Fire Station’s White Watch. This was very popular as you might imagine.

There were also the Wandering Minstrals, providing music all over the farm.

Then the moment we’d all been waiting form – time to cut (and eat) our amazing 30th Birthday cake, created for us by 280 Bakes.  Ali Vowels from BBC Radio Bristol cut the cake with Robin Hicks a farm trustee. 



Memories Cafe

Our Memories Cafe has been running for a few weeks now, and lots of fun has been had!  Each week features a different activity, a walk round the farm and tea and cake – yum.

People arrive on the LW Community Bus – this is available to anyone over 55 who lives in Lawrence Weston. Then there is the opportunity to walk around the farm, getting some fresh air, seeing the seasons change and interacting with the animals.  Feeding the goats is lots of fun!

The visitors have then been getting creative and learning about new things. One week the afternoon was spent listening to birdsong and seeing if they could recognise any. They learnt different bird names and talked about their favourites.

Another week everyone tried their hand at flower arranging with the special drying flowers grown on the farm.  There were some stunning results as you can see below.  Visitors have also painted using leaves and fruit.


Volunteer Stories

Andrew has been volunteering on the farm twice a week for 8 years!  He loves coming, and turns up whatever the weather, rain or shine.

His favourite jobs are collecting the eggs, refilling the poultry drinkers and giving the chickens their corn.

Today Andrew was collecting windfalls for the pigs.  We have Gloucester Old Spot pigs – another name for them is Orchard Pigs as they used to be kept in the apple orchards that were once very common in the west country.

Andrew is also branching out and volunteering in our Community Cafe at weekends. He likes working there as it is very different from the farm – he has to dress smartly and stay nice and clean.

Andrew used the farm’s tablet to take some pictures of his favourite animals.


Cafe Build 6

It has been all go at the farm over the last couple of weeks!  The contractors have been digging a trench from the road to the cafe, to connect it to the utilities.  As you can imagine, this has made the farm rather muddy. The goats were very interested in the trench and tried to climb in, when they were on the way to their field.

We were hoping the excavators would make an exciting archaeological discovery, but the only thing they have found so far, is a large stone.

The Stone

The Stone

The scaffolding has now been removed from the cafe, and we can really see how it is going to look.



Soon it the contractors will begin completing the interior and fitting out the cafe.

Cafe Build 5

The community cafe and training room is really taking shape now as the roof goes on and we can see how big it is.  There will be lots of room in the wifi connected training room to run all kinds of courses.  However, it won’t be just course based training taking place there,  the cafe and kitchen itself will be the focus of practical, work orientated learning.

First the roof timbers went on.

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Then a layer of wood panelling. The boxed holes are where the skylights will be.

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Insulation was put on and then the final roof cladding.



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Next trenches will be dug through the farm to connect the utilities to the building.  This will be carried out in a cut-and-cover manner to cause minimum disruption to the public and to continue to allow the movements of the animals.


Cafe Build 4

The building of the cafe has come on in leaps and bounds over the last month.

First the external walls were erected.

Then construction of the internal structures started.

Now the scaffolding has arrived in preparation for building the roof.


The pigs however, remain unimpressed.


Cafe Build 3

On Monday work started again on the cafe.  A huge mobile crane arrived to lift the floor blocks in place – with the help of Pete!

By the end of the day everything was in place, ready for the next stage.

Cafe Build 2

The building of the cafe has now stopped for the summer holidays, and the fencing has been taken down from the middle of the farm yard.

So far the contractors have dug the foundations of the cafe and training facility, filled them with concrete and started to build the base of the walls from breeze blocks.

Apart from a very large delivery sometime next month, the Farm will (almost) be back to normal for the duration of the holidays.  Once September is here, the contractors will be back and the building will be in full swing again with a likely finish date of early January 2015.

Cafe Build

The building works carry on apace with first trench being dug today.
The ground has been cleared and levelled.
Now a trench is being excavated, this is the beginning of the foundations.

Community Cafe Building Starts!

Very excitingly, work began on building our new Community Cafe and Training Facility on Monday. First the work men put in safety barriers along the farm yard to protect the public and animals from their vehicles, whilst still allowing movement through to the paddock andaccess to the community room and toilets.

Fencing has been put in place to protect the public from construction vehicles

Fencing has been put in place to protect the public from construction vehicles

Next the portaloos arrrived – very important to the people working the site.

Very important! The arrival of the portaloos for the construction crew

Very important! The arrival of the portaloos for the construction crew

Today, the digger has been clearing the land of rubble and rubbish.


Preparing the land for the building

Preparing the land for the building

Sadly, this also involves knocking down our popular pizza oven.  However, this will be rebuilt in the future.