A rather moving week! Several people have shared in the new births here at the Countryside Centre. Some getting stuck in to save a little life - a big learning curve with such wonderful smiles as the little one takes its first breath.
The team is going from strength to strength and some rather large groups here to help with lamb feeding. The little ones are loving the attention.
Now it seems that these poor little orphan lambs could go - home with lots of people - hidden away in bags or backpacks - even taken along as the office mascot. Now there’s an idea.
The weather has been very kind this week, just need to do a little more watering around the plants. The natural water collection in the large tubs is diminishing but we did have a little more in the sky today.
The peacocks are now roaming at large around the farm. If you want to see them, look up, they will be high up wherever they take a rest.
Well its back to school and back to work time for many. We just kept on going the whole time around the farm. It felt so much better when the sun came out to join us.
Today we still had a few young children here looking at lambs and feeding them as best they could. Not good to try the bottle out afterwards though - had to move the bottles quickly.
A good team around today and there was some planting help available at the start of the day. It makes all the difference to share the workload.
The toilet block is coming along in the best possible way, it will be in use soon thanks to a great team member.
A few youngsters here learning as they helped out with feeding times. There is so much you can learn as you walk around a farm. It is all coming out in blossom around here - and most of that is with the enthusiasm from those joining us here.
Spring joined us all this week and it had a really positive response with everything around the farm. Plenty of work going on and glowing faces each day.
The week began with 2 new volunteers who spent a day with everyone. Our project struck a chord with one person who returned on another 2 days giving time, effort and cakes to share with everyone. Great work. The boot wrestling session was particularly good after the pond digging. Now who is going to check those muddy hand prints to find the owner?
Several people turned up to join in the lamb feeding. The little ones are getting bigger and stronger and now have some real character in their faces.
Our team of young people on various credit schemes came along over the week. It is so good to help these young people on their particular pathways. Their work here is valuable, and we know it has value for us , the animals and them. Well done guys.
A little rain today did not dampen the spirits at all. It soon blew through and we were all enjoying more Spring sunshine.
Well that was Easter. It started with a cold wind and driving rain and ended with bright warm sunshine, so we all felt great by the end of the long weekend.
The farm remained busy with a few more little ones coming in to be part of the animal team and needing some TLC. It was good to see many willing hands there to offer their time and care. Also to bring goodies and even better funds to help our little ones flourish. Thank you kind people.
An early start with lambing around 6 am today. It was difficult to spot a problem quickly with the thick fog hiding the flock from view for several hours.
A good spot with a rather troubled ewe and 2 of us were on hand to have a real hands-on (or should that be IN) experience and save 2 little ones.
Later in the day they were playfully bouncing around the field in the warm sun. A great feeling.
It really has been a hectic week. We all moved rather noisily into Summertime, and the weather decided not to join in, just to howl at us. We all had to meet it head on, and came out smiling at the end.
The farm welcomed a whole host of young people on leadership courses, Inspire project, and some to see and feed lambs today.
We also welcomed some 4 legged residents, of course they are new arrivals too, very new as all of them were born this week. The flock has twins and even triplets
A poorly sheep had to be helped with her new twins,and she is now coming along very well with the 2 little ones close by. Some little orphans were in need of some food and some care.
We are all looking forward to a little more sunshine, less mud, warmer days outside.
Wow what a week it has been - and we’re only about half way through!. No, there’s no joke here. We have reached April, no fooling, and we are rushing through another week.
Life here at the farm has been fast and buzzing. The sun has appeared much more than we had been told but the strong winds have come along to try our strength and our patience.
A night of howling gales saw the polytunnel give in and start to flap around wildly. It was the middle of the night, not a good time to be out there wrestling with it all. A rather sleepless night followed by a busy day,
It was good to see the group from Youth Action Wiltshire here to share their handy work and take part in farm activities. The rain stayed away so no-one went home covered in mud, but all were smiling and chatting all the way back.
Today they returned to show a group from the Inspire project how to make raised beds, how to work on the goose house. So many keen and happy faces all glowing with the fresh air and with pride at what they had achieved.
Summer time has started, we are all looking forward to the summer weather joining in too. The sheep had arrived quietly a few days ago, and it seems they want to share their new field with some new little ones.
The ewe started to look ready for lambing, then it got complicated. She actually had triplets! A big call for the mother ewe. A little help was needed and a big learning curve for some. A challenging day in many areas of the farm. Nothing to worry about, just the chance for several of the team to meet the challenges head on.
The potato crop was expanding in the crop area, but the rain from the past few days had made the soil heavier still. No more bingo wings, we will all have such strong toned muscles soon.
It looked like rain so it seemed a good idea to move the newly delivered wood into a dry area.
The race was on, who could make the best wood stack?
The day began with a tingling frost and a touch of fog. It all became clear, there is a lot to do out there. The sun woke us all up and off we went.
As usual Pixie and Clover two of our goats had a good look around every part of the barn instead of joining Dot the lamb and the gang out in the field.
Now if you want a farm job done well, get the team and and get on with it.
Sheep are coming in, so they need a safe field ready for them. All hands to the pump and it was done, all ready. Even our youngest member today put in 100% to help set it all up.
The crop area had some great work there today - more seed potatoes planted and the dried out bramble and weeds was quickly disposed of.
We all ended the day glowing, buzzing and sharing tales. Good to share our smiles together too.
I have spent a lot of the day making sure we know what we are talking about. Our Introduction to Agriculture course which we have developed for Key Stage 1 & 2 pupils. which will be held here at the Caen Hill Countryside Centre.
The next stage is for Key Stage 3 & 4 with our Seed to Fork delivery.
We also have targeted work for NVQ and other accredited courses.
We have some great resources from NFU (National Farmers Union) - where Farming Matters. They have a very interesting website which tells you about farming and the countryside. have a look: http://www.agriculturesnetwork.org/farmingmatters
You may see things out in the countryside and wonder what it was, or why you saw it there. Visiting the site may help you to find out a little more. Always good to learn something new every day.
Now at the Caen Hill Countryside Centre today, we have had some bold and bright winter sunshine. A cisp start with some ice around saw the deer trotting up the fields as soon as the sun rose. Even more came along once we had been out with the food. The birds really appreciate a little extra at this time of year.
While summer brings the colour, song and drama of the breeding season, winter is a great time to watch birds flocking together, sometimes in spectacular numbers.Why not learn a little more about our native birds here in the UK? Visit: http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/features/winterflocks.aspx
The birds tend to change their habits in the winter. They are more likely to swoop around in large flocks and several different species in each group. As the night draws in they will head for safety in a barn, an empty building, swaying reeds or even a bare tree.