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By November 5, 2020 Read More →

Bath News: the farm that began as a dream in the middle of the city marks 25 years as a community centre

Bath City Farm – 25 years on

One of Bath’s best kept secrets has celebrated a quarter of a century in existence.

It started as a dream but 25 years ago, on the 26th October 1995, a new City Farm was born in Bath following years of hard work and campaigning by a passionate group of local residents. More than two decades on and the charity, Bath City Farm, has helped to educate, improve well-being and transform the lives of thousands of people from across the city.
Last month the charity held a socially distanced birthday party for their animals, with cake, singing and games.

Helen Fisher, Farm Manager said: “I have been working at Bath City Farm since 2002 and these past few months have been extremely difficult for the farm, with periods of uncertainty caused by the financial impact of having to close. However, this week, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of supporters, we have reached the £50,000 shortfall we needed to keep the farm open.”

Last year, Bath City Farm transformed 950 people’s lives through a range of targeted projects in animal care, horticulture and catering. Seven per cent of these people went on to find employment, 25% re-engaged with training or education and 35% reduced their clinical mental health support or medication.

Some of the charity’s highlights over the past 25 years:
1991 – 1995 Local residents Mike and Sue Walker registered the farm as a charity on the 26th October 1995.
1995 Jonathan Dimbleby attends the charity’s AGM and becomes the farm’s first Patron.
1998 The first animals arrive – Six Soay sheep, thanks to Bath City Football Club with goats arriving five years later.
1999 The charity employs their first member of staff, Kathy Jordan, to run courses and a children’s club.
2005 TV show DIY SOS spends a week at the farm transforming the buildings.
2006 Pigs Molly and Maggie arrive. Author Dick King-Smith comes to the cut the ribbon at the opening and read from his latest book, the Sheep Pig, which was made into a film Babe.

2007 Toddler group Roots and Shoots opens and the charity’s first Animal Care and Horticulture courses start
2010 The farm starts rearing its own chickens and guinea fowls.
2011 The café, The Trough, opens.
2012 The charity successfully applies for a large funding bid with the Lottery. This money was used to build a volunteer cabin and to recruit a Visitor and Volunteer Coordinator.
2020 The farm closes due to the outbreak of Covid-19, however supporters of the farm help the charity to raise £50,000 to keep the farm open. Staff at the farm cook and deliver thousands of meals to vulnerable members of the local community during lockdown and kept supporters and visitors in touch with life on the Farm via live animal feeding every Saturday morning on FB live.

More details of the farm’s activities and opening times at http://bathcityfarm.org.uk/

For more on Quirky Bath visit http://www.harrymottram.co.uk/bath-voice/bath-news/

More news of Bath’s chic community in Bath Voice magazine – now out – or read online at https://issuu.com/bathvoice/docs/bath_1020_test_final?fbclid=IwAR0iMYxhQj-9Cgz9uz8x9HMDnFOS_uV485SZD9qV6MXL7a_UHQ2Fs74XzXQ

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