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We were fortunate again this year, with a fine, dry and sunny day which was very well attended by 1,288 people who enjoyed a range of entertainment and a variety of stalls and other attractions including: Loony Lenny(Fun and Magic) Kris Krendo (Punch & Judy and also a Magic show), Andy and his Kiddies Musical Workshop, the Animal Man with a range of snakes, lizards, spiders and mammals, and new for this year Woody’s One Man Band who mingled throughout the day with our happy visitors.

 

 

 

 

Stalls included our resident Beekeepers, Bric a Brac, Fancy Goods, Big Prize Tombola, Teddy Bear Tombola, Face Painting and Sparkly Tattoos, our resident Farm Bazaar, Kate’s Reiki, super Plant Stall and other stalls by Rebecca, Jenny and Denise, Winterbourne Botanical Garden (B’ham University) and Fircroft College. The Bouncy Castle was in constant use throughout the day. The Refreshment facility provided the ever popular range of home made cakes, sponges, and snacks together with refreshing hot and cold drinks, and Simon’s Ice Cream was also on hand.

The Charity raised much needed funds, and the visitors enjoyed a day out to remember.
Thanks go to all Contributors , Friends, Volunteers and Trustees,who came together to make the Day possible

 

 

We are pleased to report that Ernst & Young LLP have decided that following their sponsorship in 2010 and 2011 they will sponsor us for a third full year from January until December 2012. Our Trustees and grateful for this continuing partnership which achieves active on-site Team Days for their employees as well as valuable financial assistance and on-going cooperation. Here are some team photos from the current 2012 Team Days:



…for more see the E & Young 3 year Photo-Gallery

2010

The first was on 26th March when five employees created and planted a new feature shrub area in the Orchard to screen the beehives and also refurbished and tidied two other beds. They did a wonderful job bearing in mind the very wet Spring we had and the fact that part of the work area was seriously waterlogged

The second and third were on 6th and 13th May when larger teams of ten employees carried out some valuable work in another part of the Orchard to create paved and loose stone pathways around three raised beds which had been created by Volunteers on the CNSW Programme. This was really heavy work involving transporting a succession of barrowloads of sand and stone chippings from hundreds of yards away, and laying slabs. None of the Team had laid slabs before, and some were strangers to pushing a barrow, but when they went home that night most of them were experts!

 

The fourth Team visited on 30th July and completed the slabbing and stone chipping to great effect, after some running repairs to the wooden edges of one of the beds, and also weeded and refurbished the plantings. Not one on the Team had slabbed before, yet one run of paving has all the hallmarks of a billiard table. Well done Team!

On 19th August a fifth Team carried out a variety of tasks including weeding and edging the new bed created by the first Team back in March, topping up stone chipping on the new paths after initial sinkage, and cutting their way through into our wildlife area where the Spring rains had managed to create an almost inpenetrable jungle of growth of brambles and long grass to mask the main entrance. However, the crowning job of the day was the creation of a double dug bed (with much sweat and effort) and the planting of a Walnut Tree to permanently commemorate Ernst & Young’s support dur ing the 2010 year. An adjacent picture shows the proud team at the end of their day’s labours.

Two of the Urban Farm Trustees were invited to attend the Ernst & Young ‘Town Hall Day’ along with other organisations in partnership, on 30th April to display a stall showing the Charities activities. This was an enjoyable early morning activity, complicated only by the fact that it was held in the Holte Suite at the Aston Villa Ground and one of the Trustees had to wear a bag over his head in case any fellow Bluenose spotted him!
In addition, employes of Ernst and Young have been busy collecting and donating monies via ‘dress down days’ and other Head office initiatives and activities, and E & Y as a Company have already made a generous matched donation. Funding also met the full £850 cost of staging the Open Day.

This year the Open Day (our 21st) was again sponsored by Ernst & Young and went ahead in excellent dry, sunny weather, a welcome relief after the total washout last year. It was a special event this year marking twenty five years of our Community Farm operating on site at Woodgate.

Visitors came steadily throughout the five hours of the fun day, and enjoyed family entertainment including the ever popular Loony Lenny with his zany fun and magic, two Punch and Judy Shows by Kris Krendo, Andy and his musical workshop for youngsters to join in with a range of simple musical instruments, and a musical interlude provided by our guest Accordianists . As always the Bouncy Castle was enjoyed by dozens of children all day.

There was a range of stalls including Tombola (top prize a month’s free subscription courtesy of Harborne Pool & Fitness Centre), Denise’s Community Stall, John Sturman Ltd with a selection of poultry and livestock feeds, our Honorary Beekeepers Rob and Dave with information and activities, Bournville Garden Centre (info and plants), Winterbourne House and Botanical Garden (B’ham University), Linda’s & George’s Stall, Hearts & Crafts, our own Plant Stall, the Farm Bazaar and a Reiki facility to relax the tensions.


We were also pleased to host Bristol Street Motors who brought along Ford’s three new environmentally friendly small cars. As always we were grateful to the Wyre Forest Ambulance Service who provided not only full emergency cover, but also displayed their vehicle and equipment. Our well regarded Refreshment facility did a roaring trade with a selection of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, sponges and all manner of fancy home made cakes and biscuits.

It was a satisfying day, and we hope that all our visitors enjoyed it as much as we did .Grateful thanks to our small army of volunteers who assisted in delivering another special day for our local community. We have already booked some new attractions for next year’s Open Day which is on the 9th June 2013.

The weather was not kind to us for the Open Day and true to the forecast we had rain from 8am and torrential rain from about 11 am when the event would have started, until early evening. We had to cut our losses on marquee costs and the cost of entertainers, and to save our army of stallholders from a wasted journey , so a decision had to be made early in the day, at about 7.55 am in fact, to cancel, It turned out to be the correct call.

It is the first time in 20 years of Open Days we have cancelled in this way, so guess that we have done pretty well. Many callers have asked if we are going to re-schedule it this year, but organisation of such an event takes months, and we are actually starting to book entertainers and marquees for next year now ! Unfortunately the answer is no, although we might run a one off event in September on a much smaller scale based on a Halloween sale. If we do, this will be advertised on-line.
Meanwhile a big thank you to all our volunteers, stallholders and suppliers who had set the time aside and prepared to support this years Open Day , and to those visitors who would otherwise have attended.
On a more positive note, next years Open Day is on Sunday 10th. June 2012. And it had better be fine!!

Saturday 23rd October 2010 (10.30 am - 4.30 pm) with Reiki Master Kate Jones. Following the success of the Reiki day at Woodgate last August, we are pleased to offer another opportunity this year. If you have learned Reiki and would like to know more about helping our animal friends with Reiki this workshop is for you! With a variety of animals to practice with, Woodgate Valley Urban Farm is the ideal place for this exploration. We hope to be able to treat rabbits, hens and goats. The Course will be led by Reiki Master Kate Jones, who has been teaching Reiki for over 18 years and has a special interest in helping animals with Reiki techniques. For details go to The Reiki Dojo

Much valued support from the Partnership continued into a fourth year when a team of fifteen keen employees gathered at the Farm on 25th June and did some sterling work in the front paddock, completing an area of paving around the central gateway, laying hardcore around the new Hay and Straw Store, and sprucing up two of our brick former stable units with a smart coat of white masonry paint.

 

The weather was dry (a bonus because on their last visit it poured with rain) and the whole team seemed to enjoy the experience. We have certainly gained much needed improvements to the main visitor areas of the Project. Many thanks for their hard work and good company.

Our 19th Annual Open Day (Supported For Operating Costs by Ernst & Young) once again enjoyed dry sunny weather and for the first time we counted the number of visitors rather than making an estimate. We entertained an amazing 1,127 people ! Those who attended enjoyed up to five hours of family fun including Loony Lenny, the childrens’ entertainer and two excellent Punch and Judy Shows by Kris Krendo.

The main marquees housed a record number of stalls including; both a general Tombola (top prize a meal for two in The Mailbox ) and a bottle Tombola , cakes and home made lemonade, greetings cards, silk flower arrangements, balloons and fancy goods, home made preserves, Sturmans Ltd – our local animal feedstuffs supplier, a local community stall, OPAL nature on your doorstep stand, the Woodgate Valley and Bartley Green History Group, a comprehensive plant and general bargains stall and last but not least an educational stand by our resident honorary beekeepers with information about beekeeping and fun activities for the youngsters.


Of course there was the ever popular non-stop bouncy castle, and in another marquee an all day Childrens’ Workshop where Andy & Jan Casserly helped dozens of youngsters to create music on a variety of percussion and other instruments. The refreshment facility with a choice of cakes and slices of gateaux, snacks and warm and cold drinks, did a roaring trade. For those with any pocket money remaining there was always the permanent on site Bazaar to dip into for toys, bric a brac and books. The event was supported by the Wyre Forest Lifeline Ambulance which also provided a first aid service. This was all set off with the melodious sounds of the Accordian Ensemble, who gave three performances during the afternoon. Many thanks to all our volunteers, supporters, visitors and contributors, without whom the event could not have been so successful

The friends and users of the Cowboys and Angels Childminding Services did us proud with a sponsored walk around the Park during the Autumn half – term holiday raising a creditable £381 for our farm charity. Grateful thanks to Sarah Simpson for her hard work in organising the event, and everyone who walked, and/or donated. The proceeds will all go towards animal care and feeding.

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The Cadbury Fun Event hosted by the Urban Farm on Bank Holiday Monday 25th May, 2009 and Tuesday 26th May, 2009 was a sell out occasion. Although it was a free event, it was all ticket, and all tickets were issued. Almost 1,800 people attended across the two days and enjoyed an extravaganza of entertainment and hands on activity.

Puppet shows, karaoke, arts and crafts, colouring, biscuit making, story telling, face painting,and a commando style adventure climbing zone were among the activities available to families all day long, and the site was visited by lifesize animals who posed for pictures with visitors including a penguin, pig, panda monkey and a wise owl. Hungry and thirsty visitors were tempted with a mouth watering selection of barbecue dishes and salad, and a variety of warm and cold drinks.


Everyone went away with a complimentary souvenir photograph, and a goody bag containing amongst other things a colouring book, an animal mask and of course a bag of Cadbury’s Buttons!

A spokesman for Cake Entertainment, who produced the Show on behalf of Cadbury’s said : “This has exceeded all our expectations in terms of visitor numbers. Your community has turned out in force to support this event which has been a great success”
A Trustee for the Urban Farm said : ” Hosting this free event for the local community has been a pleasure and it was wonderful to see so many families having the opportunity of enjoying a free day out in these difficult financial times”

The” Buttons Fun On The Farm” Roadshow moved on to other Member City/Urban Farms within the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens Movement for various dates throughout May and June in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Middlesbrough, Gateshead, Bath, and Leicester.

For further information and pictures of the two day event in Birmingham at Woodgate Valley Urban Farm, and pictures of the event at other City Farms, visit www.buttonsfunonthefarm.co.uk
New School Information Pack
Our long awaited schools information pack aimed at primary age children is now fully in use. This piece of important work was done in partnership and funded by Ashley’s Ark; a charity set up in memory of Ashley Sammons a teenager from Norfolk who loved animals. The information pack is available as part of booked school visits, or at a modest charge to visitors. To find out more about Ashley’s Ark please visit: www.ashleysark.org

To book a school or play scheme visit, please email