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  • hilly 3:51 pm on June 16, 2016
    Tags: , , woodlands farm   

    Mid-summer hay meadow walk at Woodlands Farm 

    Midsummer hay meadow walk poster

    The traditional hay meadows, with their many and varied wild flowers, are one of the wonders of Woodlands Farm and there’s an opportunity to see them at their best on Sunday (19th June) when the farm hold the latest of their monthly walks. Maureen from the farm wrote with details of the mid-summer hay meadow walk which starts at 10.00am:

    Join us at Woodlands Farm for a two-hour leisurely stroll around our traditional hay meadows. The meadows are at their best at this time of the year, bursting with wild flowers, bees, butterflies and all manner of wildlife. The walk will be led by a Woodlands Farm volunteer pointing out many of the interesting plants and animals in these traditionally managed hay fields. The walk includes climbing a small stile and is not suitable for buggies. Meet in the green Education Building at 10am.
    So pull on those boots and come along with us on this unmissable walk.
    Free activity – donations welcome!

    For an even closer view of the meadows join the farm’s enthusiastic conservation volunteers on Thursday 30th June at 2 o’clock for the meadow plant survey, when you’ll find them in the meadows surrounded by plant guides examining the wild flowers and grasses. This is one of a series of surveys in the next couple of months, Hannah recently sent round the full  list:

    Wednesday 15th June, 3pm –  Survey of the wildlife pond
    Wednesday 22nd June, 2.30pm – Bumblebee Walk
    Thursday 30th June, 2pm – Meadow plants survey
    Friday 1st July, time to be confirmed – Bat survey
    Monday 18th July, time to be confirmed – Bat Survey
    Wednesday 20th July, 10.30am – Butterfly survey
    Wednesday 27th July, 2pm – Bumblebee walk

    The weather forecast for Sunday is currently “dry with sunny spells” – perfect for a wildflower meadow walk.

    Wild flower meadow at Woodlands Farm, looking towards the golf course and water tower

    Wild flower meadow at Woodlands Farm


    Wild flower meadows at Woodlands Farm

    Wild flower meadows at Woodlands Farm

  • hilly 1:43 pm on May 22, 2016
    Tags: , , woodlands farm   

    Woodlands Farm Summer Show and half-term activities for children 

    Woodlands Farm Summer Show 2016 poster


    Woodlands Farm‘s Summer Show is combined with Open Farm Sunday again this year, so it will include farming related demonstrations such as sheep shearing, hedge-laying tools and a bodger as well as the usual stalls and children’s activities. It takes place on Sunday 5th June between 11.00am and 4.30pm. Maureen from the farm wrote with details:

    All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Summer Show on Sunday 5 June 2016, 11am-4.30pm. 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, get involved in craft activities and games, and enjoy displays of country crafts.  Entry is free but donations are always welcome.  All proceeds go towards caring for our animals.  A great family day out!

    Open Farm Sunday is the farming industry’s annual open day, and hundreds of farms across the country will be open to the public. Open farms are listed on  Open Farm Sunday‘s website. The event is organised by the LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) charity.


    Sheep Shearing at Woodlands Farm

    Sheep Shearing at Woodlands Farm

    In the week before the Summer Show, the farm have their half term activities for children. Hannah, the farm’s Education Officer, sent details of these:

    Half Term Activities
    Wednesday 1st June — Dream Catchers £2 per child
    Do you love having a good dream? Traditionally dreamcatchers were believed to trap your bad dreams but allow your good dreams through. So come and join us at Woodlands Farm as we make dream catchers using willow and other natural materials.  This is a drop in session. No need to book.
    Thursday 2nd June — Pond Dipping
    What is hiding beneath the surface of the pond, join us to find out.  All equipment provided.  Sessions at 10am, 11am, 1pm and 2pm
    £1 per child    Booking essential, call 020 8319 8900
    Friday 3rd June — Brilliant Bees 11am-3pm    £2 per child
    Join us for a day of bee-related fun and activities. Go on our ‘Bee-scene’ trail to see if you can spot bees and the plants which are so important for their survival. Learn about the Farm’s own  honey bee hives and do a craft to take home.
    Have a go at candle rolling (£1.50 extra).  No need to book just drop in.

    There may also be a chance to see the new piglets recently born to the farm’s Gloucester Old Spot pig, Rosie. They are a cross between Rosie and a Saddleback pig and have an interesting mix of markings.

    Rosie, the Gloucester Old Spot pig, at Woodlands Farm

    Rosie, the Gloucester Old Spot pig, at Woodlands Farm

    Rosie's new litter

    Rosie’s new litter

  • hilly 12:17 pm on April 26, 2016
    Tags: , , , , woodlands farm   

    Bluebell Walk on Sunday May 1st 

    Bluebell Walk Poster 2016

    Our local woodlands are awash with bluebells and other wild flowers: it’s the perfect time for a walk in the woods, and there’s a great opportunity this Sunday, 1st May, when Woodlands Farm have organised a guided walk through the woods from Severndroog Castle to Woodlands Farm starting at 2.00pm.

    Hannah Ricketts, the farm’s education officer, wrote with details:

    Bluebell Walk
    View the delights of springtime bluebells with this guided walk through Oxleas Wood and Woodlands Farm. Starting at Severndroog castle this walk will meander through Oxleas Wood taking in the signs of spring as well as a chance to find out more about the history of the woodland, it will end at Woodlands Farm with a trip up to Clothworkers Wood if you still have the energy to enjoy the farm’s display of bluebells. This walk is free, donations are welcome. For more information call 020 8319 8900.

    This is more than just a chance to admire Oxleas’ and Woodlands’ bluebells. Previous bluebell walks have revealed some of the woods’ hidden treasures, such as the Redwood trees planted by the London County Council  in the middle of our native woodlands, not to mention native plants that are indicators of ancient woodland, such as the Wild Service Tree and  Butchers Broom – species that would be threatened if a road was ever built through the woods.  One year we heard about the historic cants of coppiced Hazels and Chestnuts deep in the wood and their place in medieval life. This walk is very educational and very highly recommended.

    You can see photographs of the plants and wild flowers of Oxleas Woods in a Flickr album here.

    Bluebells in Oxleas Wood

    Bluebells in Oxleas Wood

    Bluebells and Wood Anemones in Lesness Abbey Woods

    Bluebells and Wood Anemones in Lesness Abbey Woods


  • hilly 10:45 pm on March 19, 2016
    Tags: , , woodlands farm   

    Birds, Bees, Barn Dances and Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm 

    Woodlands Farm Lambing Day 2016 Poster

    Upcoming events at Woodlands Farm include their annual Lambing Day fair, two barn dances, the first of the season’s wildlife surveys, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust‘s bee walk,  and an early spring bird walk.

    Maureen wrote with information about Lambing Day:

    Lambing Day at Woodlands Farm, Sunday 10 April 2016, 11:00am-4.30pm
    All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Lambing Day. Come and see our new-born lambs, and enjoy the chance to buy quality local produce at reasonable prices, including home-made preserves, cakes and honey.  Relax in our café, enjoy the treasure hunt or get involved in craft activities. Entry is free, but donations are always welcome. All proceeds from donations and our stalls go towards keeping Woodlands Farm here as a conservation project and valuable resource for the community. A great family day out!
    No parking, please use public transport. Sorry, no dogs allowed.

    There seem to have been more new lambs than ever this year. Most are now out in the fields, demonstrating their skills in exuberant bouncing with all four feet in the air, or joining in a mass race across the meadows.

    New lambs racing across Woodlands Farm's fields

    New lambs racing across Woodlands Farm’s fields

    One of Woodlands Farm's new lambs

    One of Woodlands Farm’s new lambs

    There will be two traditional barn dances this year, on Saturday 28th May and Saturday 9th July, both starting at 7.30pm. Skinners Rats will be providing live country music and will be calling the steps. We’ll need to bring our own food, drink and glasses.
    Tickets are £14 (including VAT and booking fee) – booking is via eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/barn-dance-tickets-21713716310

    Honey Bee at Woodlands Farm

    Honey Bee at Woodlands Farm

    The first Bumblebee Survey is this Monday, 21st March at 2.00pm. The Farm’s Education Officer, Hannah, wrote with details:

    We have signed up to take part in the Bumblebee Conservation Trust bee walk this year.  This will involve doing a walk round the farm once a month on a set route and recording any bumblebees we see.  This is every month from March to October, so should keep us busy!  Anyway the first one will be on Monday at 2pm.  We will meet in the Farmyard and will use this time to both map the route and record any sightings, not sure if we will see much if still chilly but hopefully be a nice walk anyway and good to plan route for the rest of the year!

    The Early Spring Bird Walk is on Sunday 3rd April starting at 10.00am. It is free to farm members, but for non-members costs £2 per person or £1 for children under 18. We are advised to wear sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothing. The walks includes climbing a small stile.
    Lots to see and do down at Woodlands Farm. And don’t forget the Spring Equinox Walk tomorrow, Sunday, at 10.00am.

    Long-tailed Tit at Woodlands Farm

    Long-tailed Tit at Woodlands Farm

  • hilly 5:04 pm on March 8, 2016
    Tags: , woodlands farm   

    Easter Holiday Activities at Woodlands Farm 

    Woodlands Farm Easter Events poster 2016

    Woodlands Farm have their annual Easter Trail for children on Good Friday this year, one of their Easter holiday activities for children. These also include mosaic coaster making and a search for signs of spring. Hannah, the Education Officer, sent me the details:

    Friday 25th March (Good Friday)        Egg-cellent Easter Trail 10am-2pm
    Join us for our annual Easter Trail.  Can you find all the different Easter Eggs and Spring Animals hidden around the farmyard? Find them all and you will get your own Chocolate Easter egg to take home.  Drop in any time between 10am and 2pm.  £2 per child.
    Tuesday 5th April        Make your own Mosaic coaster 10am-12noon
    Get creative and design your own coaster using mosaic tiles.  Each child will get their own backing board and the choosing from different tiles you can design your own pattern or picture before you take it home to use over and over again.  £5 per child.  Booking is essential to book go to our website http://www.thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
    Wednesday 6th April        Spring Trail 10am-12noon
    Spring is here, drop in and pick up a trail sheet to start your search for all the signs on spring.  You can even use your finds to make your own spring picture to take home.  No need to book, just drop in.  £1 per child.
    For more information, see our website or contact Hannah Forshaw on education@thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org

    The farm will also be holding its Spring Equinox Walk on Sunday 20th March starting at 10am, and the first fair of the year, Lambing Day, on Sunday 10th April. I hear the first lambs of the season have already been born.

    Spring blossom at Woodlands Farm

    Spring blossom at Woodlands Farm

    Spring leaves emerge at Woodlands Farm

    Spring leaves emerge at Woodlands Farm

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