Pathways Progress – 1 June 2016

Flaming June!

The farm is such a special place – especially when the sun is blazing down and the sky is a really rich blue… the bird song fills the air and beautiful butterflies slowly drift along from flower to flower.

The beginning of June is usually associated with the start of summer. Maybe not this year! Today was not quite arctic but it certainly couldn’t be described as warm and inviting. The cold wind from the north and reached double figure speeds… had any butterflies taken off they would have landed in Essex.

The gales on Monday night took their toll. Rain has penetrated a few of the barns and where we had been getting used to very dry, clay-based, soil which required a hefty spade or fork to penetrate the surface, we now have areas resembling quicksand where more than one piece of footwear has been left behind as the wearer tried to walk along.

However, lots of great things have still been happening and we have been seeing lots of new growth appearing from the flower and vegetable beds.

As you can see from the photo above, the grass is growing really well and will soon be ready for our first cut of hay this year.


We need to say ‘Thank You’ to Alison Begley of Alzheimer’s Society for the great ‘Dementia Friends’ training session she did with a team of our volunteers. Everyone was encouraged and stimulated by the way she led us into a deeper understanding of this disease. The session was easy to understand, wonderfully presented and we all ended the morning feeling more able to help in a meaningful way.

We have also just been granted some funding to equip the team with basic first aid and training to gain more understanding of Mental Health and Learning Difficulties.

All of these sessions are aimed at helping us offer a more effective service which will benefit many more vulnerable people. I don’t ever want to stop saying how grateful I am to all of our volunteers as well as all those who have the skill to teach and train us and those individuals and organisations who provide us with the funds and resources to do our work.


DEFRA have just given us a holding number which means that we are now allowed to get animals on site! How amazing is that. The next update will contain photos of the first arrivals… what a day that will be.

We therefore need as many people as possible to work together to help make one of our field safe and secure by erecting a fence around the perimeter. About a third of this has already been done but there are a good number of posts still to get in. If you are thinking “I can’t build a fence”, I know how you feel. I started this journey with no practical skills at all – some would say that I still have none.

Anyway, the important thing is a willingness to try, to be part of a team, to take the pressure off the regular few and, as usual, to have fun doing it.

Fencing is not the only thing we have to do, there are lots of other jobs and many that require no skill, just a willing heart. Please join us if you can this Saturday 4 June. We need you.



ps the photo shows the reservoir with the swans that have now returned… such a beautiful sight and worth a visit this weekend whether you drive in a fence post or not.


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