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Volunteer Story

Ellie

Ellie volunteered with us for many years as a young teenager, and when she was taking her Animal Care course. She went on to volunteer and eventually work at Bristol Zoo. She then went for a job at Puxton Park in Somerset. When she was asked at her interview about her animal handling experience, Ellie described her work at Lawrence Weston Community Farm and the zoo. They gave her a practical assessment – handling a type of lizard called an Agama – and she got the job as Animal Keeper!

Ellie absolutely loves her role as Animal Keeper!

Recently Ellie collected some of our eggs to hatch at Puxton Park. When they started hatching out of their shells they looked very cute!

They grew very quickly and are already nearly big enough to join our main flock. This means that in the Spring, we will have lots of eggs for sale.

Volunteer Stories – Catherine

Catherine has been volunteering with us since September last year. She comes as part of her work placement as she is studying Animal Management Level 3 at Weston College. She had been planning on doing Engineering, but when she saw Animal Managment she knew that was the course she wanted to do.

Catherine loves everything about being at the farm and looking after the animals. The only bit she’s not too keen on is working on the manure heap. Last week she and the other volunteers had a lovely time grooming the goats, with the kid goats clambering all over them and leaping off them.

Coming to the farm makes her nostalgic as she used to come as a child – she says it hasn’t changed very much, it is still very similar. Catherine was very glad to come back after the lockdowns. She is a young carer, so coming to the farm is a great break for her. It really helps with her mental health.

Catherine is planning on a gap year after college, she really wants to travel and see some of the world.

Catherine with the young chickens

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.

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. 

 

 

30th Birthday Celebrations

Thanks to the hard work of all our many volunteers and staff the farm is looking forward to celebrating its 30th Birthday this year.  Join us on Wednesday 2nd August  12- 4pm for a Free Family Fun afternoon with music, food , nature activities and Bike Swap.

The farm was set up by local people who worked together to create a green space for local children and adults to learn.  Currently we have over  50 volunteers and work experience placements and run education and well being sessions in the woodlands, farm and gardens.

Work will begin soon on demolishing the main farm building, which was destroyed earlier on in the year by arson. We hope our replacement building will be in place by the end of 2017.  Support  after the fire was incredible from the local community in the form of donations from individuals, schools and clubs, offers of help and moral support for staff and volunteers. Thank you to everybody who took the time to support their community farm. 

We will be celebrating our birthday and new building by asking for ideas from our volunteers and visitors for what to include in a Time Capsule! It will be buried underneath the new building and opened in 2050.

Please see www.lwfarm.org.uk for full details of our free summer activities.

A note from one of our Farm Hands

Hi my name is Courtney and I’m a Farm Hand at the local community farm in Lawrence Weston. I’ve been a Farm Hand for about three  months now and I love everything about it already.  We do loads of fun things such as:

  • Hold chickens.
  • Collect the yummy chicken and duck eggs.
  • Bake banana bread.
  • Go on scavenger hunts
  • Mucking out
  • Pick fresh rhubarb from the garden and baked a rhubarb crumble with it.
  • Go in all of the pens.
  • Make awesome dens
  • Outdoor art with different berries and leaves

We have done lots more things too but it would take up the whole page to write them all.

Everyone and anyone is allowed to be a farm hand as long as they are 8-11 years old no matter what shapes or sizes they are, as long as they come from the local area. Being a farm hand is the best thing that ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change a thing for the life of me. We learn new things every session and have the best time ever.

 I love being a farm hand!

 

Courtney (aged 10)

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Volunteer Stories

Amy has been volunteering at the farm for a year now.  She came here to do her  work experience with us as she is studying Animal Care at SGS Filton College. She is now doing a Level II Diploma in Animal Care.

Amy chose the farm as she thought it looked good, and was local to her.  She loves coming to the farm every week and being with the goats and the piglets.  She had never worked with animals before, so she has learnt everything from scratch.  However, she can now do the whole morning and afternoon routine on her own!

Amy feels that volunteering at the farm has really increased her self confidence and self esteem.  This has been due to the friendly nature of the farm and everyone who works here, and also being supported while taking on responsibilities.

Amy loves the guinea pigs, and has taken a great photo of them.

 

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Farm Hands 28 June 2014

The new cafe and community building is being built so Charlie pointed out that we needed to move the farm shop. Charlie got to work taking down the shop sign using a claw hammer, putting it back up on the veranda using an electric drill, and designing the new layout of all our produce. Come in, take a look, and buy some of our tasty goods!

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