Fordhall hosted yet another great weekend this weekend. Not only was it the weekend of our third ever AGM but we also held a very successful Farmers’ Market on the Sunday at the farm and guess what…the weather was great. The event was attended by over 1,500 people from all over the country, many of which stayed in local B&B’s. Our next event after this will be our Summer Fair on the 5th July 2009.Please come and support us.
The third annual meeting for the Fordhall Community Land Initiative (FCLI) was held at the Grove School on Saturday April 25th. The annual meeting, attended by almost 100 people highlighted the successes of the initiative throughout 2008; this included hosting over 50 school visits, 4 family open days, biodiversity courses, the outdoor musical play Arthurs Plough, volunteer opportunities for over 200 people, and access improvements for the thousands of people who visit the farm on an annual basis. Major successes of the year included a £49,000 grant from Heritage Lottery for the Farm Trail and a £25,000 award from the Morgan Foundation towards the renovation of the farm buildings for educational use.
The accounts show an unrestricted surplus of £13,000 which is fantastic news and will help fund the many new projects in the pipeline. A 5-year business plan for the FCLI was launched on the day with a forecasted spend of over £1.7m over the next 5 years!
The AGM was followed by a lecture on Green Care by Dr. John Hegarty, a lecturer at Keele University, highlighting the benefits of access to green space on mental health and well being and the fantastic work that the Fordhall Community Land Initiative is doing in this area. One volunteer who arrived at Fordhall after suffering a mental breakdown, spoke of how his experiences volunteering had increased his confidence, eased his condition and helped him to enjoy life again. The team at Fordhall hope to expand these opportunities throughout 2009 through the volunteering programme.
The day finished with a fantastic barn dance and Fordhall Hog Roast for all ages. The Boat Band were great and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Although the dancing was a little too much for Charlotte as she wasn’t able to walk for the first half of Sunday!
The next event at the farm will be a Dawn Chorus guided walk this Saturday morning at 5.30am to coincide with International Dawn Chorus Day organised by the Wildlife Trusts. A perfect opportunity to hear the beauty of the morning song and celebrate nature’s miracle in a tranquil setting. Please ring 01630 638696 to book or see http://www.idcd.com