We are located 4 miles north of Cirencester, between the villages of North Cerney, and Woodmancote. From A435 you take the turning towards Bagendon, go up past the Church to the T junction. Turn right towards Woodmancote and Scrubditch Farm is approximately 100 yards on the right. The Care Farm is situated down the drive, up the track on the left.
From A417, turn off at Perrotts Brook/Daglingworth, and proceed towards Perrotts Brook. Just before the A435, turn left towards Woodmancote. Go for approximately 1 1/2 miles and Scrubditch Farm is on the right, just past the Bagendon/North Cerney Cross Roads.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Week 5 Spring

hard at work plucking the cockerels!
My black eye is well and truly shaping up - it looks worse by the day, and i'm not sure the students thought much of my 'horse' story...!  Anyway to Monday -  we had a great day - the weather was perfect for plucking cockerels!  We had Coln House School arriving at lunch time to pluck & dress our two cockerels - so the morning was spent doing all our other chores, combined with pet lamb' feeding of course - apparently we now have 18 pet lambs!! We had to dispatch two of our Rhode Island Cockerels - they were really bullying the ducks and other hens - Lucy (sister) has a 'stun gun' for such purposes and duly did the deed - with Helen watching avidly in between putting her arm round me reassuring me that it was all ok, and not to worry!  Ben & Will made a tripod specially, to hang the birds from - and the students sat / stood and plucked round them!
Helena then gave a wonderful biology lesson, whilst dressing them  (pictures to follow!)  No-one seemed unduly concerned, and it's great to know that they had a wonderful life up till Monday!  (We're going to have them casseroled for lunch on our last day of the Session)
stripped ready for action!

Wednesday and Thursday - Gerry one of my volunteer helpers arrived with armfuls of beautiful pansies, violas, wall flowers & lots more herbs - and she & Tom spent a happy morning designing new flower beds with....tyres of course!  They are now planted up either side of the path running up to the porta cabins and really brighten up the project.
Yesterday, Simon worked really hard all day, with Bob, Mike & Simon (a new volunteer helper) marking out (that took most of the morning!) and planting some of the fruit trees.  The fruit cage has arrived flat pack, and next week, we hope to have some of the Glos Constabulory workforce here to help finish planting the trees - having given us the donation to purchase them!  The rest of us, were feeding sheep / moving them, and generally being sheep people most of the day.  Steve, Bev & Leanne planted up a long long gutter with tomatoes, and rocket. Tom & Ernie transplanted a rose, and moved tons of top soil!

 Everything has really shot up over the last couple of weeks, and the site is starting to take shape at last

PS we had a very sick ewe yesterday, and last night the vet came and performed a 'caesarian' on her - and fingers crossed she has 3 lovely lambs and is doing well....watch this space!

(Piccys will follow - after the weekend - we're off to Roma!)

Friday, 25 March 2011

week 4 spring

I'm sitting here typing with one hand as my horse Manny managed to 'knee me' on my eyebrow by mistake today!  I'm holding a bag of peas on it whilst typing!

Back to this week...Lambing has taken off full tilt so, David, Hilary, Helen (who is now doing Monday mornings instead of Wednesdays, and I collected loads of Ivy first thing - Ivy is an anticeptic, and sheep love eating it - it's especially good after they've lambed, for healing, but also for bringing their milk through.  William and Ben spent the morning doing some running repairs to a wheelbarrow.  There were lots of tasks to do in the lambing sheds, feeding & watering, and then the best bit - giving two lambs a 'bottle' - this is done every four hours or so, as their mother got mastitus (an udder infection) and so has no milk of her own.  PM, Coln House School arrived, with some lovely red onion plants for us - they've gone into some of our 'tyre' planters outside.  They really enjoyed seeing all the lambs, and we all  walked round the field to check for any new arrivals, before we finished for theday.

Wednesday, we had another busy day, mainly based around the lambing shed, and PM, Simon (who's not that keen on parts of the 'lambing',  planted lots more raspberries, in our - soon to be covered with a cage, soft fruit area!

The yurt where Helen & Dave
do their rural skills courses
Thursday - we have been given our first big 'donation'- from Gloucestershire Constabulory...! So, we went off to spend some of it, buying a lovely selection of local fruit trees, from Day's Cottage.  (See link opposite)
Sorry this is sideways...it's a 300 year old Perry Tree
at Helen & Dave Casper's Orchards!
It was lovely to be shown round some of their orchards, and to see how to plant each tree - we now have 2 Pear trees, 7 Apples, and a Damson tree to plant out - these will not start fruiting for another two years or so, but will really add structure to our site - and something to really look after & forward to!  The rest of the donation is going towards our fruit cage for the soft fruit area.  Lots of digging and preparation has been put into this area behind the poly tunnel - so it will be great to see Raspberries in the Autumn (and hopefully Strawberries too) - the other Gooseberries, Blackcurrants, Redcurrants & Wineberries will be another year, as they can't be moved till the autumn (having taken cuttings last year & overwintered them)

All in all a lovely week's work - especially with our beautiful Spring weather! Let's hope it continues...

Sunday, 20 March 2011

week 3 spring

love at first sight!

We are milking the ewe!

Actions speak louder than words this week so.....i'm saying it in pictures!
Planting out the first cabbages - let's hope the frost
doesn't kill them off...
A single lamb for this ewe!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Week 2 Spring

Monday - Will and Ben were kept busy mending sheep hurdles, ready for lambing.  David and Hilary spent the day watering all the seeds, salads, and planting out broad bean seeds & leeks.  Coln House school arrived at lunch time, and we had a lovely afternoon with the boys helping Will & Ben making a raised bed, and cleaning out the ducks.  Helena brought some 'plugs' of cosmos & felicia flowers that we re-potted into single pots. I had a lovely surprise at the end of the day, when Waitrose, Cirencester, rang me to say that we have been picked as one of their projects for their Green Tokens in April!
One of Daisy's Eggs
with a goose egg and our Rhodey's egg!
Wednesday, Steve was back, with Si & Tom, and Danny.  The guys worked really hard getting the sheep 'pens' set up in the covered yard.  Danny helped Gerry planting out some herbs, and then was our 'Star' when Ciren College Media Studies group arrived to film us!  They interviewed us all, and are going to put together a short film about the project for us to use for marketing, and raising the profile.
A pair of Hardwick sheep at the market
nearly bought them...!
Thursday, i took the students to the market at Driffield, to see what was being sold - we were looking at poultry primarily, to work out which eggs to buy to go under the next 'broody' hen.  Countryfile were there filming - we reckoned Adam was selling some of his sheep!  Not much to see this time, but it's great to go and have a look.
Afternoon was spent preparing the 'soft fruit area' again, SO many stones to clear still, but....the guys did plant out the raspberry canes.  We could do with another 6-10 canes if anyone's got any spare!
We are being given a donation of £500, and are going to buy some bare-rooted fruit trees, and a fruit cage to keep the birds out.
We're all really desperate for lambs now....the triplets are HUGE and can hardly move but to date...nothing yet!

Friday, 4 March 2011


Ella helping out!
We had a lovely week off last week - Ella helped with the hens & ducks, and feeding the triplets each day!

Our first day back this week, there was great excitement as Daisy the Duck has laid her first egg! (We've now had one each day - although it's quite difficult to find them, as they are very clever at burying them in the straw!)
As Daisy has started laying, William & Ben have made her a nesting box - but of course she just lays them on the floor! David arrived late (transport problems) and had lots of watering jobs to catch up on with Hilary. Then they planted herbs into our herb wall.  William and Ben spent the afternoon mending sheep hurdles ready for lambing.

Wednesday, we had a new student doing a 'taster' session.  As Helen, got out of the taxi (which i might add costs £15 each way from Cirencester!) she told me that her very favourite animal was a sheep - well of course, when i told her that the first thing we were going to do was feed the triplet ewes - she was virtually hysterical!!
We had a lovely morning, Danny & Helen got on really well, and mucked out the hens & ducks, while Simon & Gerry prepared the compost to grow the mushrooms in and assembled the tiny glass house - it's steaming up nicely!  Tom & Mike have been making 'edging' for our paths, from the ash seedlings that we have left from when we cleared the site.  All we need now is the wood chip - slight problem there - i thought i had found a lorry load of free wood chip - but when they went to throw it onto the site, it turned out to be full of green cedar branches and not much wood...!  Luckily i managed to stop them after one load, and they took the rest away - motto - DO NOT RUSH INTO THINGS!! Sue was in charge in the afternoon as i went off to Sadlers Wells to see a very bizarre ballet called The Centaur and The Man....

Thursday, Still no Steve - we really miss him, and i need him to help with the wood chip paths (when i find some wood chips!) he's takes such pride in making them.  As we had all the relevant pipework for the bowsers, Simon, Bob & Mike spent the morning finally hitching up the guttering to the bowser behind the portacabins.  Now all we need is some rain to make sure they work!  I don't mean that - it's been gorgeous today. We planted some more peas - mice ate the last lot, and Simon had hidden them in guttering, so fingers crossed this time.  We had another student here for a taster session, in the afternoon.  Ernie, helped all the guys stone picking, raking and getting the 'soft fruit' area ready for planting the Raspberries out.  He also checked for eggs with us.  We had a look at one of the duck eggs to make sure it's fertile, in readiness to put some under a broody hen at some stage.