Woodlands Farm Saturdays

Wow, things are really hotting up down the farm, check these new saturday activities out (i will update the details as they come in, and add them to the calendar):

29th January 10am. Big Bird Watch. Based on the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch, and results will be sent to them. FREE.
1pm-3pm Afternoon workshop making bird feeders. £1.50 per feeder.

12th February 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Making chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day. Charge £3 per person; ages 7+.

19th February 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Making Bird Boxes – based on BTO bird box week. Charge £2 per box; ages 8+

26th February 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Dissect an Owl Pellet. FREE; Ages 6+.

5th March 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Pond Dipping. FREE; ages 4+.

19th March 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Woodland Adventures. Bush-craft activities for over-8s.
Booking required – please contact the farm office during office hours; 020 8319 8900/woodlandsft@aol.com. Charge £1 per person; ages 8+.

16th April 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm. Make chocolate animals for Easter. Charge £3 per person; ages 7+.

30th April 5am-7am Dawn Chorus Walk. FREE; all ages.

Half-Term at Woodlands Farm

A series of children’s activities (many of them free) are being offered at the farm in the February school holidays:

Half-Term Activities
22-25 February 2011

10.30-11.30am Farm Animal Tour FREE; all ages.
A chance to meet some of our friendly farm animals.

12.30pm-1.30pm Worm-charming competition FREE; ages 4-10.
How many worms can you find in 20 minutes? Plus a worm-identification workshop.

2.30pm-3.30pm Make a bird feeder to take home £1 per feeder for materials; ages 4-10.

Plus Scavenger Hunt, on-going all day from 10.00am. £1 per hunt; ages 4-10.

Shooters Hill Stables?

Today i was lucky enough to come across a copy of senine, a glossy and entertaining magazine that also has some excellent features relevant to the wider area. One story in this month’s edition particularly caught my eye. In a piece entitled Horse Play they detail proposals that could markedly change the Shooters Hill area by a) placing lots of horses in what is currently the donkey field between woodlands farm and thompsons garden centre, b) by exercising those horses in Oxleas Wood, and c) by increasing the to- and fro-ing of their handlers and vehicles, which may include a new horseback regiment due to move into the garrison. The SSSI designation awarded to the eastern slopes of Oxleas Wood, the attempts to build ringway2 and elrc over it, and the fairly recent development on woodland of the extended café car park and the recently permitted mixed-mode play area for christchurch school and public use (post to follow) mean that the integrity of one of London and nwkent’s last surviving, and in some ways unique (number of wild service trees for instance), areas of ancient woodland continues to require continual and vigilant protection in order to sustain it’s distinct ecology and survival.

Proposals for a new ‘Olympic legacy’ horse riding centre are on course for opening in 2012, SEnine has learned.

The centre will provide stabling for more than 40 horses on the slopes of Shooters Hill.

Maney for the £1m plus centre will come from a variety of sources, including £250,000 from the British Equestrian Federation and match-funding from Greenwich Council Olympic Legacy project.

The location is expected to be between Thompson’s Garden Centre and Woodlands Farm on a council-owned site currently grazed by donkeys from Blackheath.

Detailed plans are expected to be ready for consultation in the New Year but will run into strong opposition from members of the Woodlands Farm Trust concerned at the over-development of open land.

The new centre is intended to increase access to horse riding across the borough and will also include provision for riding for the disabled.

There will also be a link-up with the relocation to Woolwich of the country’s foremost equestrian Army brigade, the King’s Troop, Officers from the Troop, who will move into the former Royal Artillery barracks, will give their time to training at Shooters Hill as part of their commitment to community engagement

As well as stabling, there will also be new indoor and outdoor exercise rings. However, plans to allow the horses to gallop on surrounding land are expected to be opposed by Woodlands Farm and conservationists. Oxleas Woods, are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and horse exercise would churn up paths and leave droppings which could change the area’s delicate ecology.

Chair of the Trust Dr Barry Gray said: “It would be a massive over-development of Metropolitan Open Land and lead to increased traffic in the area. The council seems to take no notice of its own policies for nature conservation and open space.”

I also found a relevant story from 17 December 2009 on the british equestrian federation site, so this is not a new idea at all. I’m not sure why it’s surfaced on the pages of senine now, and can’t find any planning applications on the council website, the land is apparently theirs, so I’m not sure what the consultation process would be, but presumably if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen some time this year.

Andrew Finding, Chief Executive of the British Equestrian Federation says: ” … The centre, which is proposed at Shooters Hill, just a stone’s throw from the Olympic equestrian venue [I’d like to see someone throw a stone to Greenwich Park, ed.], will provide a lasting sporting, community and educational legacy for the equestrian community in the city. This project will also be supported by significant local authority funding. ”

Councillor Chris Roberts, Leader of Greenwich Council said; “We see the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a tremendous opportunity to inspire people to take up sports and are doing all we can to develop a new equestrian centre in Greenwich, as well as a host of other new sports facilities.

“A new equestrian centre will not only introduce thousands of London children to the thrill of horse riding, it will also provide educational and training opportunities for many people for years to come. Our plans are to provide a top quality training centre so that people can gain skills and qualifications in an area that will open up opportunities across the world.

“The Games aren’t just a 17-day sports event for London – they are a chance to create new opportunities and inspire people and we have to start now so that the benefits can last for generations to come.”

Woodlands Farm Toddler Club

Following on from their magic inspired festive activities, Woodlands Farm are now offering a new series of events for toddlers and their accompanying adults:

New Toddler Club in 2011

– Meet the animals
– Arts and Crafts
– Toys, Games and Books
– Tea and Biscuits

Every Thursday in January and February from 10 – 12
£2 per adult, children go free!
(children must be supervised)

No Need to Book – contact the Farm for more information.

Woodlands Farm Christmas Holiday and New Year Activities

Now that school’s almost out, the farm are putting on some Harry Potter themed activities for children in the run up to Christmas.

Christmas activities on 21, 22, 23 and 24 December – come and join in the fun!
Times: 10.00am – 3.30pm daily
Location: Woodlands Farm, 331 Shooters Hill, Welling DA16 3RP
Description: Enjoy Christmas with this magical start to the Christmas holidays at Woodlands Farm. Drop-in children’s activities. No need to book – just turn up!

Activities are (£1 per activity per child):

  • 10am-11.30am – Care of magical creatures
  • 12pm-1.30pm – Wand making
  • 2pm-3.30pm – Potions
  • All day – treasure hunt running in the Forbidden Forest!

They are also starting a Toddler Club in the new year:

New Toddler Club in 2011

  • Meet the animals
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys, Games and Books
  • Tea and Biscuits

Every Thursday in January and February from 10 – 12
£2 per adult, children go free!

(children must be supervised)

No Need to Book

Please spread the word.

Fever Pitch Carols at Woodlands Farm

I went to the christmas fayre at woodlands farm on Sunday, and to my eyes numbers were down on last year despite the increase in the amount of stalls. In other events this year, the apple day was well attended, the summer show a bit quieter than last time, and the lambing day was absolutely massive this year. On balance I’d say it was a good year for enjoying festivities at Woodlands.

In other farm news, Bella the pig (saddleback I think) had five babies in November. The piglets are very sweet, and they also remind me of the days when the co-op made bacon there.

The accompanying audio is a short clip of some nice multipart harmonies recorded live at the farm, I’m not familiar with the second song, but it’s an interesting arrangement. The date of the event also marked the advent of Christmas, and I am trying out a new christmas pudding recipe which is mainly beeton #1:

Fever Pitch at Woodlands Farm Christmas Fayre by eshootershill

Well, I wish you well this Christmas.

hilly's christmas pudding (as yet untasted)
4 oz organic fairtrade muscovado (carbon footprint marks coming soon, will probably be shocking for tropical goods.)
4 oz suet (lawson uses butter)
4 oz sultanas
4 oz raisins
2 oz currants (or dried flies as my dad calls them)
2 oz shredded mixed candied peel (some people hate these, and there are less victorian ways to get the taste of oranges and lemons in)
2 oz of plain flour
2 oz breadcrumbs (now possible to buy these in packets from polish shops, very good for fried fish too)
1 oz almonds (ground, flaked, or best of all hand blanched, peeled and shredded)
The grated rind of a 1 lemon (I didn't have a lemon handy so I just hope the mixed peel did the trick)
2 eggs
½ teaspoon of nutmeg grated (if you like nutmeg then put more in)
½ a teaspoon of salt
18 pint of milk
1 small wine glassful of dark rum
lawson also puts in couple of ounces of cocoa

pack in a heatproof bowl cover with greaseproof paper and tie with string.
steam for 5 hours.
steam it for at least 2 hours on christmas day, and serve with rum butter.

Woodlands Farm Summer Show

Although I previously blamed my batteries, it actually turns out that I haven’t got much to say about the Woodlands Farm Summer Show after all: I arrived in time for the extreme falconry, to see a harris hawk surfing on a mock rabbit with accompanying sardonic commentary, plus the tug-o-war to sound of ‘eye of the tiger ‘, but I did miss the bakewell cupcakes, w.h robinson steam machines, sheep shearing, and the blacksmith, plus I noticed the bromley bee keepers weren’t there, perhaps as a result of woodlands farm’s own bee keeping operation turning out to be better than theirs? The next barn dance, on June the 19th was being promoted, this time in aid of Severndroog castle.

Woodlands Farm Summer Show

The biggest of all the farm shows is happening this Sunday:

All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Summer Show. Come and meet our animals, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves, cakes and honey. Relax in our café to music by Greenwich Concert Band, get involved in craft activities and games, and enjoy displays of country crafts and falconry. Entry is £2.50 adults, £1.50 concessions and £1 children aged 4-16. Children aged 3 and under go free. All proceeds go towards caring for our animals. A great family day out!

woodlandssummershow

Dosey Doe

The first Woodlands Barn Dance of the year is coming up this Saturday, and has been added to the events list, here’s a bit of eynsham morris to get the mood going, although i gather that skinners rats are a full ceilidh group offering all styles of folk dances… The next event is on the 10th of July.

Brighton Camp, Eynsham by eshootershill

Sat May 15 2010 7:30 PM: Music by Skinner’s Rats; ploughman’s meal included, but please bring your own drinks and glasses. Tickets £10, available from the Farm office. These dances were very successful last year and sold out quickly so please book early to avoid disappointment. Tel: 020 8319 8900

Woodlands Farm Lambing Day

Woodlands farm are about to present the first of their 4 annual events, the peak of lambing season! The event is on saturday april the 3rd from 1100-1630. hope to see you there.

2010lambingday