For more images of the farm, go to the gallery section.



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Farm Open Days

Dates for 2014

Spring (Lambing) Open Day - Saturday 26th April
Open Farm Sunday - Sunday 8th June
Shabden Farm Picnic - Saturday 23rd August


For a few days of the year, we open the farm to the public. Our open days focus on events in the farming year and aim to provide an opportunity for visitors to experience first hand and learn more about farming activities and how they fit into our farming system and the industry at large. We hope that these events will help visitors to understand how our farming system allows us to manage the countryside for wildlife and how our farming and conservation activities are interlinked.
All open days open from 10am until 4pm.

Visitors are advised to bring wellies or boots to open days.     Sorry no dogs allowed.

For photos of previous farm open days, visit the Gallery.


Spring open day at Shabden Park Farm baby lambs

Spring Open Day     Saturday 26th April 2014

Triplet lambs and mum

Hands on experience for visitors!

Introduction

Meet the animals including the baby lambs and their mums, watch Farmer Mark working the sheep dogs, visit the Back to Nature Farm Shop, enjoy some local produce from Shabden farmers' market and talk to Countryside Ranger Bob Crompton.

You will be able to look in on the pigs. Our chestnut Sussex cows are in the fields, heavy in calf - you may see them if you go on a farm walk - but you can meet our pet cow, Krowka, when you visit the lambs.

Farm Walks

Bob, our Countryside Ranger, will be here to give visitors a chance to ask questions about 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 Wildlife Trust, or Bob will have some on the day.

Admission & Refreshments

The event is completely free admission and everyone is welcome.
Teas, coffees and beefburgers 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.

Competitions

There is a 'name the lambs' competition with a voucher to spend at our farm butchers shop as the adult category prize, and a soft toy for the winner of the children's category.

Children's activities

Children will be able to do a short quiz to help them remember what they have learnt. If you bring your completed quiz to the refreshments stall, Kirstie will give you a small prize.
Kirstie's mum, Sue will have some farm animal and lambing-related crafts to keep children amused and reiterate what they have learnt.

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. 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 here.


Open Farm Sunday Shabden Farm Surrey

Open Farm Sunday     Sunday 8th June 2014 

 

Piglets at Shabden Farm

 

Bob sets off on a guided walk

 





Fresh shellfish at Shabden Farmers' Market

 

Farmer Mark demonstrates shearing with modern equipment

 

Introduction

Come and join Mark and Kirstie, Sam and Tui, and various family 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.

Farm Walks
Bob, our Countryside Ranger, 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 Wildlife Trust, 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.
Competitions
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 visiting area.
Children's activities

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 here.

Demonstrations

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 Surrey Guild 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.


           Shabden Farm Picnic      Saturday 23rd August 2014

 
Farmer Mark demonstrates starting a young working dog  on  ducks

 

Sheep Dog Demonstrations

Buy your picnic from the fresh produce on offer from our producers at Shabden Farmers' Market and settle down to watch shepherds and their dogs compete to be the best at working the sheep around the course.

Other stalls...

The event will raise funds for   , a local charity. Ways you can help raise funds for the charity are; Buy a raffle ticket, with some great prizes donated by the Farmers’ Market Producers, Back to Nature Farm Shop, Hengest Farm and The White Hart, Chipstead; Buy tea and cake on the trial field, proceeds of which will go to the charity; Buy a programme and running order; Drop your change into a collection box.

Farmer Mark will be manning the Information and Welcome point, so you can understand what's going on (no question is silly), and there will be a refreshments tent on the trial field, plus Kirstie will be cooking beef burgers, bacon and more at the usual place in the Farmers’ Market, which is held each month at the Farm Shop.


Visitors Comments

"Thank you for welcoming us into your farm on Farm Sunday. We had a superb afternoon and found it most imformative. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and we all particularly enjoyed the sheep shearing and the sheepdog demos. Our party ranged from ages of 3 months to 75 years and each of us enjoyed the event immensely."

"Thank you for all your hard work. We had a great time!"

"thanks- we had a lovely day at the farm, especialy enjoyed the sheepdog trials and the ducks!"

"Just wanted to say thank you to the organisers of open farm sunday and Shabden Park Farm for a lovely day out today [..] The farmer at Shabden was marvellous. In the drizzly rain his energy and commitment enlivened us all. When there were too many for the last tractor trip out to the fields (where his wonderful sheepdog rounded up a herd of cows and he found a new calf born that morning he didn't know about- how exciting was THAT? when the baby pooed some bright yellow colostrum feces, like a human baby but fascinating to the many children on board as well as to us. His shearing was amazing- very hard work, yet he kept up a lively patter even as he hauled the huge beast around and skillfully sheared her.
The food stalls and takeaways were excellent, farm shop produce interesting, and everyone was SO helpful and hospitable. I realise how much work was involved in setting up something like this, and hope you will pass on the thanks of two grandparents to this excellent farmer and all his staff."

"We just wanted to say thank you for a wonderful day today. My children [..] really enjoyed the day and appreciate all the hard work that was put in. I grew up on a farm and am really keen for the kids to learn about farming and with the shearing, live animals and especially the trailer ride they had a fantastic experience despite the awful weather."

 

Links

Information Britain   Tourist and events information around the UK
FARM-Africa   FARM-Africa works with poor African farmers, helping them to produce more food for their families

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