Volunteer Profile: Hayley Chapman

Our next story from one of our lovely volunteers is Hayley’s! This was first published in the Autumn 2021 edition of the Grazer.

Occupation: Artist.

I like painting parts and glimpses of life that I find visually interesting, I’m not one that likes to chat about the meaning of a painting or a piece of art, I just like to look at it, look at the textures, brush strokes, colours and light and shade. I get inspired by other artists like Michaelangelo, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Constable and David Hochney, I also get inspired by nature and wildlife.

What is your passion?

Art! Mainly I do oil painting, rug making and spinning wool. I dye the wool, spin it and then cut it into strands and then create and design a latch-hook rug.

I have taught myself all kinds of crafts like book binding, painting, henna tattoos, spinning and rug making.

I spent a lot of time in hospital when I was a child because I had leukaemia, epilepsy and a brain tumour so I was doing arts and crafts while I was in the hospital bed. I am grateful for being alive and still creating.

How did you hear about Fordhall?

I come here often because it’s in my local town, I see it driving past from the road.

When and why did you become a volunteer?

This year because I thought it looks like a nice place to volunteer with nice countryside. Also the people here are welcoming and friendly.

I started volunteering after the first lockdown in 2020 because I wanted to push myself out there, meet people and experience more of life on a farm. 2020 was a bleak and scary place for everyone, I wanted to come into 2021 in a happy place so I thought Fordhall is the ideal place to start. Fordhall is a great place to admire what is on our planet and to watch how nature works.

Why is Fordhall important to you?

I think it’s a really good place for the community, it helps the wildlife and helps people enjoy and love nature and animals.

I like how Fordhall works to help the community, it helps wildlife, gives people the opportunity to enjoy nature on the farm and supports climate change.

My favourite spot on the farm is the craft / wood workshop, it has a nice chilled out atmosphere with a beautiful view surrounding it of the farm.

I love walking past the pigs, seeing their piglets and the opportunity to work on the land.

I really like how Fordhall is a very natural eco-friendly place and uses as little plastic as possible. Also love that the buildings have grass/wild roofs.

What do you most enjoy about volunteering here? Any stand out moments?

Meeting people and working with the land as a team, and marshmallows on the campfire are some of my highlights.

I like seeing wildlife close up like tadpoles in the pond, Henry the sheep and seeing the other animals roam around. I also like crafting in the wood workshop.

Recently I enjoyed putting my artist skills to use doing the sign in the play area and helping setting up one of our seasonal trails.

Hopes for the future?

That our society stays engaged with nature and doesn’t lean too much towards technology, (living life through a pixilated screen). Just because humans increasingly have more knowledge of how to develop extreme technology, it doesn’t mean we should unless it’s needed for positive use.

Being in nature is so important to me, many younger people my age don’t value it as much, I hope more do in future.

I wanted to share my story as other people might be going through or had similar experience, the farm is such a great place for the mind and body.

To find out more about volunteering at Fordhall, contact Mike via email mike.grabarz@fordhallfarm.com