The Mini Farm

Whilst we put all the plans in place for our main farm site, we are running a mini farm to help get ourselves established. After a successful pilot in the summer term, we have a small group of young people, who are struggling with their mental health, spending a day a week with us through the autumn term to look after our growing gang of animals and harvest fruit, vegetables and flowers. This smaller scale farm has the same ethos and the outcomes are just as impactful for the young people as they will be when we scale up.


We kicked off on Wednesday 6th September 2023 and run every Wednesday through to 13th December, with the exception of Wednesday 25th October as that's half way and half term. We have a limited number of places available if young people would still like to join us this term.

What happens in the day?

The day starts at 9.30 and finishes at 4pm. In the morning there will be a range of farm based activities - looking after and feeding the animals, learning about growing produce and harvesting what's ready, with lots of tea breaks! We eat our packed lunches together, a chance to chat, relax or take a break. The afternoon starts with an interactive talk on wellbeing covering a range of things like understanding anxiety and our emotions but also looking at lots of concrete ways to help us manage our wellbeing - like dealing with stress, sleep and physical activity. These sessions often involve mindfulness exercises, craft activities and a chance to reflect. Then we get out in the fresh air with a walk around the farm and some final tasks which can range from moving the sheep to a new pen, giving Rosie the Shetland pony a makeover, woodwork or woodland skills. Every day starts and finishes with time to update our journals.


Rosie is a Gloucester Old Spot, and is the boss around the mini-farm.  She's 2.5 and will be soon (hopefully) be pregnant for the second time. Last year she had six little piglets!

Next up we have Hermoine, Jojo and White White, Our three ewe sheep. All had lambs in the spring thanks to Caesar the mighty ram. We hand reared two lambs earlier in the year and they love to have their heads scratched. All the sheep get excited when they see us and give us a loud welcome. 

We have five goats who are very friendly and who we are hoping to breed so we have kids to rear next year.

We are awaiting a delivery of eight new point of lay hens to add squawks and clucking to our current happy, free range little band of three.

Not to be outdone are the ducks who love it when we replace their bathwater and sound as if they are partying in earnest with all their quacking and good cheer.

The rabbits have been joined by two very cute guinea pigs and there are always a lot of cuddles given by the hutches.

If that's not enough, October sees the arrival of our lizards who will take up residence in our new Lizard House!

 The Market Garden

With a greenhouse, two large fruit cages, a polytunnel and cut flower area there is plenty to keep us busy.  From tomatoes to strawberries, and rhubarb to cucumbers we have it all here! And lots of courgettes turning into marrows. We've also got lots of apple trees and a selection of other fruit trees, which keeps Rosie very happy when she gets her share of the windfalls! We have had loads of dahlias and sunflowers to pick and take home too.


The mini-farm might be small, but we still are 100% dedicated to helping our young people. Our wellbeing sessions are created by our Clinical Psychologist, Dr Beth Mosley, and the adult staff and volunteers not only help with all the jobs on the farm, but are there if someone wants to talk.

Joining us

This term we are able to offer 10 placements for 14 weeks. Please fill in this form to find out more.