Tag Archives: volunteering

Volunteers and Lockdown

During lockdown the farm was closed to both the public and the volunteers. It has been wonderful to welcome back all our regular volunteers and placements and see everyone again after so many months. I spoke to many of them to ask them what they had got up to during lockdown, and what they were enjoying most about being back at the farm.

Andrew spent lockdown watching TV and playing on his X-Box. He missed the farm a lot and has been very happy seeing everyone again, and working with the animals. Lee loves to be outside and got very restless during lockdown. Now he’s back at the farm he is enjoying having a routine again and working outdoors. Andrea spent most of his time playing with his cat and watching films. He was very bored, but says it’s great to be back and socialising with everyone. It’s great to be working with people again. Pete mostly watched TV and did a bit of gardening. He is enjoying being back and getting some outdoor exercise. He is also really loving seeing the animals, but he is especially enjoying eating our biscuits again!

Michelle didn’t do a lot during lockdown, although she did go for a walk everyday around the back of the farm, which she enjoyed. She was very pleased to see the animals again, and do her favourite job which is collecting the eggs from the chickens and ducks. She much prefers to be volunteering at the farm than being at home doing nothing. Rowan says she survived home schooling by going for family walks and came to really appreciate her local footpaths. However, she is still glad to be back and doing something different outdoors and with the animals and see everyone again too.

We have also started having Corporate Volunteering days again. Recently Wessex Water came and repaired the fencing by the forest garden. These days are essential for farm maintenance.

The overwhelming response of all our volunteers was how much they enjoyed seeing their friends and animals, and to be working outdoors. For our part it has been fantastic to see the farm come to back to life and see everyone again. If you would like to volunteer, or think your workplace would like to take part in a corporate volunteering day, then please contact Ian on ian@lwfarm.org.uk or 01179381128

Volunteer Stories

Sarah moved to Bristol in September because her husband is studying here. She loves animals and the outdoors and needed something to keep her moving and get outside to combat the winter blues. A new friend recommended the farm to her, so she came and had a look around and then applied to be a volunteer as everyone was so friendly.

Sarah now volunteers for two mornings a week. She loves coming to the farm, volunteering has really helped her through the winter in a new city. The best bit is having fun with the other volunteers and meeting new people. She also really loves the goats and chickens.

The worst bit is when it pours with rain and she has forgotten her waterproof trousers.

Sarah says that volunteering at the farm has definitley improved her life and got her out of the house and exercising . She would recommend volunteering as a great way of meeting new people.

Sarah with lamb
Sarah with wheelbarrow

Volunteer Stories

Emma discovered the farm after Googling ‘farms to volunteer at’. She initially came along to the Woodland Skills course and then stayed on as a regular volunteer.

Emma and her husband would like to set up a regenerative agricultural enterprise, such as pastured poultry, which is where a mobile laying flock follows livestock on a rotation around the land. This builds up soil and absorbs a lot of carbon from the atmosphere – both actions are vital to fight climate change and soil loss.

However, first she wanted to get lots of hands on practical experience of livestock and farming. She loves the variety of animals that she gets to work with, and says that there’s so much you’d never know without first hand experience – such as there’s a right and wrong way to slope a nest box roof! (If it slopes the wrong way, chicken poo will go in the nest box).

Emma really enjoys being outside and with people who are interested in farming. Her favourite aspect of volunteering is the variety of jobs and animals, and the camaraderie with the other volunteers. She really values how much time Ian spends with the volunteers and the knowledge he shares with them. She dislikes – nothing!

In the future Emma would also like to learn about bee keeping.


Volunteer Stories

Chelsea and Moya

Chelsea and Moya have been volunteering with us since last autumn. They are studying Animal Care Level 2 at SGS College, and come to the farm as their work experience.

They both think that the best thing about volunteering is that they get hands on exprerince with the animals, not just reading about it or watching videos. They feel that it has helped them with their course.

Their favourite jobs are anything to do with the baby animals, and were very pleased to have been here when two of the baby goats were born.

The least favourite part is when it rains.


What’s been happening this Spring?

Lots of fun, creativity and learning on the Farm!

We’ve run several very successful workshops and courses on the farm this spring, as well as some lovely free family activites during the Easter Holidays.

The Woodland Skills course took place on Mondays earlier in the year. This has been great fun and the participants have been learning lots of interesting and traditional skills, including basket making, firelighting and shelter building. They also carried out important work maintaining and improving the woodland.

Kerry ran a peg loom weaving workshop where people learnt to weave a simple wool rug using raw fleece from our own Jacob sheep. These little rugs can be very useful, providing a warm, waterproof seat anywhere – so ideal to take on walks and camping.

The Spring Tonics and Superfoods workshop was blessed with fantastic sunny weather. Participants were taken on a short walk around the farm, looking at everyday plants that are full of nutrients and healing, learning about their history and modern uses. Many of these plants were then tried as teas. They then made a herbal vinegar to take home.

In the Easter Holidays we had our Family Fun Day, with Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. There were lots of great activities in the Water Vole Woodland, including mud prints, nest building and clay bird making.

The Get Growing afternoon was extremely popular, with lots of people planting seeds and decorating pots. The legendary Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Saturday was as busy as ever with people hunting for clues all around the farm.

All in all a very busy spring! In the coming months we can look forward to Spoon Making, Fire Lighting, Leaf Printing, Herbal First Aid, and new sessions of Talking Tables, Introduction to Volunteering and Herbs for Health. Our Gardening Club, Walking Group and Farm Tots run all year round. Please see our website or Facebook page for more details.

Volunteer Stories

Lee has been volunteering with us since May of this year.  He first came to the farm to take part in the Introduction to Volunteering Course, that we run a couple of times a year. Lee was referred by Headway, an organisation based in Frenchay that supports people with brain injuries.

Lee also started coming along to our Walking Group on Wednesdays, he then started volunteering three days a week.  Lee is always here bright and early no matter what the weather is like, as he really enjoys getting the animals out in the morning. Lee loves to keep busy and meeting people so volunteering on the farm is very beneficial for him.  Working outdoors, with the animals and nature, and being part of a team has greatly improved his wellbeing.  Lee says that he ‘loves helping people enjoy their free time.’  Volunteering at the farm has given his life some structure and focus, and the opportunity to meet lots of different people,  including those with different needs than him. 

Lee’s plans for the future include getting a part time job. 

August update from the Farm

As the year turns, we’re now well and truly in the time of high summer and harvest.  This year’s heat and lack of rain means the gardens are very dry so the volunteers have been doing a great deal of watering. Squashes are just starting to ripen and will be on sale from next week. We have potted herbs for sale, sown and grown by the Herbs for Health group. The fruit trees and bushes are fruiting early this year so don’t miss out!  Ask staff if you’d like to pick your own.

The two new piglets are now going outside 4 days a week day into the cool forest pig pen; they are enjoying seeing all the visitors.

The new chicken run is a great success there is lots of interest and food for the chickens and squashes and meadow plants growing naturally.

We have a set aside the pig pen near the ducks this year, and it has attracted frogs and toads.  This is due to the wild plants such as Mugwort and Goosefoot growing there, creating damp conditions underneath and this has helped them get through this dry time.

Bumble  and Honey bees are loving the artichokes and sunflowers.

Honey will be on sale from September.

We have goat meat, sausages and bacon for sale

Looking forward to seeing you all on the 22nd August for the celebration.

Volunteer Stories

Last week we had four Yr10 students here to do their work experience. 

The students are from different schools, but had all chosen to come to the farm.  Kian likes animals and had worked with horses before, Henial likes animals and is local to the farm. Emma had worked with chickens before and wanted more hands on experience as did Meg.

They all loved everything about working on the farm, being outdoors and working with the animals, and said that they would definitely love to come back. They all felt that volunteering on the farm had improved their confidence and given them practical skills for other areas of their lives. 

Their favourite part was the goats.  Kian and Henial’s worst part was digging hole, Meg and Emma’s worst part was carrying brambles.

Volunteer Stories

Katie has been volunteering with us for over 3 years.  She first came for work experience whilst studying for her Level 3 in Animal Management.  She is now in her final year of a Foundation Degree in Animal Management at Weston College.  She also works as an Animal Care Assistant at Animal Farm in Brean.

Katie says that volunteering at the farm helped her get on her Foundation Degree course and helped her get her job, for two reasons.  Firstly the farm was able to provide her with a reference, and secondly the experience and confidence she’d gained through coming here really impressed the college and her employers.

She loves volunteering at the farm and especially likes new experiences and making friends, and says there are no worst parts for her.  She really loves every day!  A few weeks ago, Katie was lucky enough to see Snowy give birth to her kids. She says that was the best birthday present ever!

Volunteer Stories

Paul has been volunteering with us for over 2 years.  He was interested in the farm as he wanted to learn how to look after farm animals.  He was very pleased to find somewhere to do this, that was local to him.

His favourite part of the farm is the pigs – he loves looking after them.

He also enjoys the fact that every day is different – there are always a few surprises!

His least favourite job is unloading deliveries – particularly the hay and straw deliveries that we get for animal bedding and fodder – he ends up covered in bits of straw.

As a result of his volunteering at the farm, Paul had an apprentiship with ALS Energy Group, learning how to do energy audits of people’s homes, with a view to reducing energy bills.

In the future Paul would like to work on a commercial farm – preferably one with pigs!