Woodlands Farm Summer Activities, Henri Le Worm and Flockstars

Woodlands Farm summer events poster

Woodlands Farm has been very busy over the summer so far, and there’s more to come over the next few months. As well as being the (secret) host for ITV’s new show Flockstars, there was the opening of the Henri Le Worm community garden by Raymond Blanc and also Rosie the Gloucester Old Spot gave birth. Next week the farm’s summer activities for children start, and a series of walks around the farm is planned, including three bat walks.

Hannah, the Education Officer at the farm, wrote with details of the summer activities for children:

Tuesday 11th August Orienteering 10am-2pm  £1 per child
Can you find your way around the farm without getting lost?  Try our different orienteering courses to see how good you are at navigating.  No need to book, just drop in.

Thursday 13th August Pond Dipping Sessions at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. £1 per child, accompanying adults free
Come and see what you can find hidden beneath the surface of the water.   Using nets we will delve into this mysterious world.
Booking is essential, call 020 8319 8900

Tuesday 18th August Felt Making Sessions 10am-12pm £2 per child.
Did you know that felt is made from sheep’s wool?  Join us at Woodlands Farm as we make some amazing felt flowers, butterflies and other animals using just wool.  This is a fun and messy activity which everyone can enjoy.  No need to book, just drop in.

Wednesday 19th August Be a Farmer for the Day 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm £3 per child, accompanying adults free
Ever fancied seeing what it is like to be a farmer?  Join us as we have a go at feeding and weighing our animals as well as walking our fields to check all our animals.  This event is only suitable for children over 8 years.  It is essential to book, call 020 8319 8900

Thursday 20th August Gruffalo Day! 10am-12pm    £3 per child, accompanying adults free
Inspired by Julia Donaldson’s classic book join us as we journey into the deep dark wood in search of a gruffalo!  This activity will involve a walk into our woods which is about 20 minutes and not suitable for buggies.  It is essential to book, call 020 8319 8900.

Tuesday 25th August Gruffalo Day! 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm    £3 per child, accompanying adults free
Inspired by Julia Donaldson’s classic book join us as we journey into the deep dark wood in search of a gruffalo!  This activity will involve a walk into our woods which is about 20 minutes and not suitable for buggies.  It is essential to book, call 020 8319 8900.

Wednesday 26th August Dragonfly Day 11am-3pm £2 per child
Drop in for a day all about these fantastic insects.  Go dragonfly spotting, follow our trail or make your own dragonfly to take home.  Just drop in, for more information call 020 8319 8900

Thursday 27th August Pond Dipping Sessions at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm. £1 per child, accompanying adults free
Come and see what you can find hidden beneath the surface of the water.   Using nets we will delve into this mysterious world.
Booking is essential, call 020 8319 8900

Efts (baby newts) at Woodlands Farm

Efts (baby newts) at Woodlands Farm

Newt at Woodlands Farm

Newt at Woodlands Farm

Everyone at Woodlands was sworn to secrecy about the celebrity guests and barn full of border collies that came to film parts of the new ITV series Flockstars , a kind of celebrity “One Man and his Dog”. Maggie e-mailed the story:

Woodlands Farm was delighted when the producers of a new reality TV show decided that this was the perfect place for their stars – dogs and sheep as well as people – to get to know each other and work on their skills before the grand finale in the Flockstars Showground down in deepest Kent.
For the six weeks that the crew were with us they needed peace and quiet, as well as our lovely fields, so the staff and volunteers at Woodlands Farm on Shooters Hill were all very discreet about what was happening here and made up some wonderful excuses to people who asked why we had so many sheepdogs in the barn. We did our best to provide a relaxing atmosphere for the celebrities and their shepherd mentors while carrying on keeping Woodlands Farm going.
We enjoyed having them all here – it was so quiet when they went! Our own farm sheep and cows may well feel differently as they now have all their fields back!
Just to mention, the celebrity shepherds competing are DJ Tony Blackburn, former Eternal singer, Kelle Bryan, Brendan Cole from Strictly, Fazer aka Richard Rawson, Lesley Joseph from Birds of a Feather, TV presenter Amanda Lamb, Corrie legend, Wendi Peters and the ten-time Paralympic Gold medallist, Lee Pearson, CBE.  You’ll also see some stunningly brilliant dogs, striking sheep and pretty challenging geese and ducks. And did we mention those young, but experienced shepherd mentors, Welshman Ioan Doyle, Scotland’s Emma Gray and England’s Ed Hawkings?
Full details of Flockstars, which starts on ITV on Thursday 30 July and will run for eight weeks can be obtained from the ITV press release , available now, which was embargoed until today. See http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-packs/flockstars

The programme is on  Thursdays at 8.30pm. It’s not quite as bad as the reviews make out, and the farm looks really good.

The  Henri Le Worm community garden is a collaboration between Charlton Manor Primary School, Blue Peter horticulturalist Chris Collins, Olivier Blanc, the creator of Henri Le Worm and Woodlands Farm. The garden was initially exhibited at the Hampton Court Flower Show before being moved to a site at the farm. Olivier’s father, the Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc officially opened the garden in July, giving an impassioned speech about the importance of food education.

Raymond Blanc opens the Henri le Worm community garden

Raymond Blanc opens the Henri le Worm community garden

Rosie the Gloucester old Spot and her two surviving piglets

Rosie the Gloucester old Spot and her two piglets

The farm’s next monthly walk is in September, and then they take place each month for the rest of the year:

Sunday 20 September—Autumn Equinox Walk
Sunday 25 October—Mid-Autumn Walk
Sunday 22 November – Short days, cold winds
Sunday 20 December – Pre-Christmas Walk

More about the Bat Walks in a future post.

Woodlands Farm Monthly Walks poster