Shallowford in Change

Shallowford in Change

Shallowford in Change 953 1342 Sandra Munoz

The Shallowford Trust Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Apologies for this long over due Newsletter. We can only say……….. we have been madly busy. We hear rumours that some people are bored, unable to tiptoe out of their houses and have been yearning for freedom in wide open spaces?? Well………… here on the farm, the lambs are leaping and gambolling madly in the sunshine, the piglets are giggling away as they belt up and down the slope outside the barn and the daffodils are cheerfully nodding in the sun stroked breeze. Spring has burst forth, only to be slightly tempered by the lack of rain. This scarily reflects us humans………… here we are again, ready to shake off the winter doldrums only to be tempered by Corona Virus. Oops – apologies – we mentioned those two words!

The Strategy: Yet Shallowford is in the midst of change. We hope change that will:
· Increase the overall number of visitors we can receive per year.
· Increase the impact and value of our work.
· Increase the number of people we employ.
· Ensure long term sustainability and viability of the farm and the Trust itself.

The Trustees have approved the 2021-25 five year strategy as we move forward with action plans to make the four major priorities become reality. The essential elements that we must critically retain are;
· a feeling of ‘home’, being a working farm,
· engender in every visitor; a sense of responsibility for oneself, for each other, for nature and the environment around us and being valued and trusted as an individual within a team.
· To achieve this our programme is designed to challenge many people’s normal assumptions about themselves and their world perspective, encouraging everyone to be the very best they can be and educating visitors emotionally, spiritually, physically, academically and with new and improved skills.

This is not just an idea, it is something we are making happen with vast amounts of hard work and an amazing level of support and dedication from countless numbers of volunteers.

The Impact of 2020: Interestingly, we gained more visitors in 2020 than we thought. Many schools had not yet booked, but we had visited several, taking Christopher Columbus (cockerel) and Mini (dog) to chat to children and parents whilst holding discussions with the teachers in preparation for the summer. These figures are not included below. Sadly 30 booked groups cancelled in 2020. We did however, have 12 ‘bubbled’ groups visit when covid rules were slightly relaxed over the summer, before the autumn lock down. Many came from our good friends at Providence House in London, whilst others were within the care system. In addition, we had a further 17 family groups visit and stay as part of our ‘health and wellbeing’ promotion. In total 247 people stayed one night or more, 92 of those being in groups of ‘disadvantaged’. A grand total of 492 ‘visitor nights’ were achieved compared to 585 in 2019. Clearly, we did not do ‘so badly’ in 2020. This achievement was gained largely though family groups visiting over the summer. Onwards and forwards!

Thank You: There is no way two small words ‘thank you’ can hint at the generosity, awe, admiration and sheer value of the time, effort and donations we have received over the last year. The Outdoor Education Barn rose up as if by magic with Malcolm Hunter sneakily working like a bee to make sure it seamlessly lifted out of the muck into a beautiful Ark that is warm, comfortable and already enjoyed by many. The main anonymous donor who enabled the project to be initiated, merely smiles – but we are hugely grateful!

The Barn………. Well……… what can we say about our builders (Alec Hoare and Son) who toiled in rain, snow, summer heat to hail? They added little extras, made us smile and with Will Dracup future proofing further flooding, anticipating the mischief of children and further barn and animal expansion………… ‘thank you’ seems too small to say what we truly mean. Serena has gallantly organised our helpers whilst painstakingly finishing essential tasks before builders and visitors’ deadlines. We have beds, forks, spades, mattresses, sofas, towels, sheets, crockery, kitchen units and equipment……… the list goes on and on……….. the visitors will never know how much kindness has poured and overflowed, whether it is the gifting and planting of daffodils, the planting of hedges on cold damp days, cleaning, painting and more painting and scrubbing or the donation of hard cash to enable valuable purchases …….. but …..all will benefit and enjoy. So……… please forgive the small words…………… but THANK YOU!

Plans Moving Forward: A huge amount still has to be done. With Phase One not yet completed, we are still short of £36,000 to finalise the current project. We have kept costs to a minimum simply through everyone’s kind donations, but some hard cash is still needed to purchase specialised capital items for the kitchen and boot room. George (female) has joined us as a resident Youth Farm Volunteer to gain work experience adding practical knowledge to her degree studies. We are still looking for a second resident volunteer as part of a rolling programme with annual recruitment for the very diverse role (just in case you know someone who might be available).

We may be able to open the Barn on 1st June, but we run the risk of not being fully functional, fully painted and limping slightly. We will do our best, but we do truly need your help and support.

How to Help:
· If you know of any schools or youth groups that might be looking for a residential course or one day visits, please put them in touch with us (
· Painting: if you are an expert gloss painter or good on damp walls, please come and paint!
· Donations: we still need cash for many small purchases, some of which are listed below.

Paint £1,000
Paint Brushes £20
Go-Pack folding tables x 4 £480
Go-Pack trolly & folding
Projector & sound system £1,200
New fast speed kettles x 5 £120
Commercial kitchen
equipment (specific tables,
oven/range, pots, pans etc)
Dining Room Furniture £3,000
Cutlery £500
Bathroom mirrors, shelves,
toilet roll holders etc £1,000
Washroom & Bootroom
furniture £2,000
Bed lights £500
Shutters £500
Commercial storage
shelving £1,000
Item Amount
Vegetable Garden £10,000£10,000
Garden Shed£600
Corner Barn – build£35,000
Poultry (huts, fencing, feeders etc)£5,000
Horse/pony & cart + insurance£10,000
Shippon – new roof & repairs£20,000

· If you are using Amazon to order anything, please use and select: The Shallowford Trust as your nominated charity. You pay no extra, but Amazon will donate to us.

Within the next few months we will have a new Website and recruited a second new Resident Youth Volunteer. We have Georgina until September, but hope to find two people to continue the work for a year from September onwards. If you know anyone who might be interested, please let us know.

Next phases:

Volunteers needed on Thursdays: mucking out, wood chopping, grass strimming, mending, cleaning, polishing, gardening and outdoor jobs as needed.

We will provide tea, coffee, bread, soup and cake. Covid Rules! Come just when you can, occasionally or even just once – it all helps.

Please contact Serena: or Tel: 01364 621 392 (usually Julia).