Autumn into winter is a quiet time for school visits and residentials on the farm. Despite this, we are not stuck twiddling our thumbs. One of the groups we did have visit us recently was a local Air Cadets’ group. Not being one to be defeated by the short days and the nights drawing in early, I took it as a mission to try and get these adventurous souls involved in the most action-packed hour and a half session we could do, all before it got too dark! We accomplished the action-packed part, but we failed the before dark part of the mission, but this just added to the adventure and fun!
We started with a very brief farm tour to talk about organic production and to meet the pigs and cows before heading down to one of the boggiest sections of the farm: a section we have cordoned off from grazing over winter to allow us to plant willow whips. We got to the bog just before the dark really hit us and with a quick introduction to living barns, silvopasture and how to plant whips, then we got to it! In the short time we were there, the group planted 80 willow whips by torchlight, and not one person ended up face first in the bog!
If a farm tour and willow planting were not enough, we then tramped our way quietly to the woodland through the meadow of dozing cows, trying not to spook them on the way. Here we came together for a nice and relaxed end to the evening with an opportunity to toast marshmallows on the campfire, sadly this was then the end of our evening together. Fingers crossed the group book in for an overnight experience in the future to add to their evening of wilderness!
To find out more about our educational visit programmes and overnight experiences please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Grabarz, Youth Worker, Volunteer Leader & Residential Extraordinaire
This article was first featured in the Winter 2023 edition of the Grazer magazine. For more info and to subscribe, visit: