Come and join Mark and Kirstie, various helpers, our Countryside
Ranger Bob Crompton and Sophie from Surrey Wildlife Trust for a
fun packed day at the Farm to celebrate national Open Farm Sunday.
Meet the animals, go on a tractor tour, watch Farmer Mark shearing
the sheep and working the sheep dogs, visit the Back to Nature Farm
Shop, enjoy some local produce from the mini Shabden
farmers' market and join Ranger Bob for a guided walk. Learn
about bees with the Croydon
Beekeepers, who will be showing their glass-sided observational
beehive. There will also be sales goods, hot and cold refreshments
and much more.
You will be able to look in on the pigs, as well as other farm animals.
Our chestnut Sussex cows are in the fields with their calves at
foot, but you may see them if you go on a farm walk, along with
the young rearing cattle. We are hoping to be able to bring a calf
or two for you to see close up.
Bob, our Countryside
, will be on the tractor tour to give visitors a chance
to ask questions about how we created and farm the chalk grassland
and Surrey Wildlife Trust's role in the farm and woodlands. There
is also a self guided trail on the farm - you can get details and
a leaflet from Surrey
, or Bob will have some on the day.
Admission & Refreshments
The event is completely free admission
and everyone is welcome.
Teas, coffees and burgers made by our butchers from meat reared
on the farm will be available and there will be an area to sit down
to eat and have a rest from all the activity. Other farmers' market
stalls will be selling their local produce to eat for lunch.
We will be running a 'guess the weight' competition
with a voucher to spend at our farm butchers shop as the prize.
Young children will be able to follow the Wool Trail around the
The children's corner will keep kids busy with
themed colouring and craft activities. Parents can join in with
their children's interest in the sheep shearing and working sheep
dog demonstrations. Hopefully you will come away knowing what the
four basic commands for a sheep dog are.
Farm Shop and Farmers' Market
The Farm Shop will be open all day selling our
farm-reared lamb, beef and pork, as well as local chicken and free
range eggs. Click here
to visit the farm shop webpage. A mini version of Shabden
Farmers' market, our monthly farmers' market held here on the
farm will be here for you to buy local produce to take home or eat
Farmer Mark will be giving demonstrations of sheep
shearing with modern and antique shearing equipment, and working
sheep dog demonstrations. Find out what 'left' and 'right' are in
sheep dog language, and see if you can command the dog to bring
the sheep to you.
Mark will give sheep-shearing demonstrations every half an hour
or so with modern day electrical shearing equipment and, to compare
how technology has changed, with an antique hand-wound shearing
machine. The handpiece is very heavy and has interchangeable cutters
which must be kept sharp in order to shear the fleece in one go
without pulling or getting stuck. Mark will demonstrate the special
technique for holding the sheep and explain the process during which
the fleece is shorn.
The Open Day will give visitors the chance to find
out about wool processing and spinning. We are lucky to enjoy the
company of the Epsom Spinners, who demonstrate hand spinning, carding,
weaving and other wool processing techniques. The ladies also bring
friendship bracelet kits, which are very popular, and some of their
handicrafts for sale. Everyone has a chance to spin their own piece
of wool to take home. The Epsom Spinners are a group of the East
of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.
We are running this open day as part of the national Open Farm
Sunday network of events. Click here
for more information.