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Blogs | Nov 2023

November update from Jamie’s Farm Bath

It feels as though November has come and gone in a flash, and we’ve enjoyed the company of some fantastic groups of young people visiting Hill House Farm.

We welcomed a group from Thomas Knyvett College, who really stood out for their support on a large-scale sheep move and their sense of fun and adventure on our (very muddy) walk to the woods and caves. We were also thrilled to welcome Sedgehill once again. Their resilience dealing with the weather was fantastic and it was great to see each individual thrive in their own way during the week. The care shown towards the animals was lovely to witness, particularly when working with the larger animals, something that would have taken lots of bravery!

Last week, we were joined by a group from Esher Church of England High School. We have enjoyed playing games together and they have done a fantastic job of stepping out of their comfort zone to discover new skills on the farm – there are certainly some excellent chefs in the making.

We’ve enjoyed welcoming young people and families to the farm through our longstanding partner, BANES (Bath & North East Somerset Council). This involved a day visit with young adults with experience of care and a further day visit with families and carers supporting them. It is always lovely to see the joy that the farm can bring to people of any age, enjoying a sense of warmth, acceptance and belonging whether through making food, caring for animals or building new bonds with each other.

We love the opportunity to visit our visiting groups of young people back in their schools, six weeks on from their trip to the farm. We recently returned to Northolt High School, where it was great to see young people maintaining their newfound confidence back in school, having joined clubs, wanting to pursue their love of cooking and finding more centred, calm ways of responding to difficult situations. Our support to these young people will be ongoing through the enhanced legacy initiative, which will involve accessing opportunities outside of school to continue the progress they have made so far.

Out on the farm, rams have gone in for early to mid-April lambing and cattle are happily bale grazing out in the fields. Young people are enjoying feeding our pregnant sow and will be awaiting news of piglets arriving, though this won’t be until early January. We also have a number of lambs that are nearly ready for market, so there will be some delicious Jamie’s Farm meat making its way to someone’s table very soon. It is always important for the young people to visit the farm and understand the realities of farming and where their meat comes from, as well as just how important it is for us to look after our livestock to the best of our ability.

We were lucky enough to be offered a fantastic opportunity to be involved in sowing a wildflower meadow with the young people of Thomas Kynvett. This initiative was part of the Glorious Cotswold Grassland project and provided the young people with the chance to see something they contributed to grow over time. In taking back seeds to their school, the young people will retain that lovely connection between Box and the school environment. Thank you to everyone involved from Box Parish Council, the Community Payback team, the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, the Glorious Cotswold Grassland project and the Box Hill Common Community Group.