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.

Friday, 27 November 2015


We have a new arrival - in the shape of 'Tonto' ....a magnificent Wilthire Horn ram.  A friend has very kindly lent him to us for a couple of months to run with our 15 ewes.  He looked very happy to be let out onto the bank last night, and has already met some of the girls!

It's five years since we started the Care Farm - i can hardly believe it...we have come such a long way since those first few months (with no electricity!) and we still have some of the original students here each week!

We had a visit from Judy at \Butts Farm last week - she came to look at our livestock and see if we could show one of our ewe lambs that we are rather proud of!  Gerry has been halter training her in readiness and we were very pleased that Judy thought the same as us - so hopefully we will get her to one or two shows next year.

We are having a stall at the local school in North Cerney's Christmas Fair - in the Village Hall on saturday this week 10am to 2pm

Saturday, 31 October 2015

we were very lucky to have been invited up to the Star College last week, by The Wiggly Worm Charity, to an afternoon's cooking in their Star Bistro!  We took along lots of our produce; heritage tomatoes, parsnips, rocket, apples, and lots of hedgerow fruit.  Six of our students took part, and all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Sue Guilding from the charity led the afternoon.  We split up into three groups, and made 'rocket pesto', sloe chutney, blackberry & elderberry jam, followed by apple cobbler, fruit flapjack and blackberry yoghurt cake!  At the end of the afternoon, we all sat down and had a delicious meal.  Sue made pasta to go with the pesto, and a lovely stroganoff and bolognese, and we had a beautiful tomato salad, made with all our heritage tomatoes!  Everyone had a very jolly time, and thank you so much to Sue and her team for making it possible.
Our heritage tomatoes - delicious!
Danny stirring the jam!

Helen & Charlotte looking very pleased
with their fruity flapjack!
It's half term this week, and we were due to pick up the ram we borrowed last year - but the day before; the owner rang and said he had died!  Luckily, another friend in Chedworth is lending us one of his...so we are going to pick him up on Thursday next week
My Birthday cake made by Gerry -
obviously it's Manny !
one evening shutting the poultry in

We have had some really beautiful
sun sets recently, and i managed to 
get this one on my phone last


Wednesday, 14 October 2015


This week we had another lot of Open Days and we had a very special guest on Monday - no other than TWEEDY from Giffords Circus!  He was brilliant - arriving with his iron in tow; dressed up and with a wonderful umbrella with bells hanging of it all playing a different tune!  The students loved him and showed him all the animals.  He even juggled with our hen's eggs whilst standing on the table in the garden!! (photo to follow)

Tidying for the Open Days!
We had a group from The National Star College on Wednesday, and the students loved showing them round too.

Gerry starting to train one of our ewe lambs!
We took 3 of our lambs off last week to the abattoir, and have pre-sold most of them, so we are taking another two tomorrow.  All our lambs have done so well this year - the ewe lambs look fantastic.   We are going to try and show a couple of them next year, so Gerry is going to try a rope halter on them on Monday!  We continue to round them up each week, and put them through the 'race' as it means that some of our less able students can really get the feel of them.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Week 3

This week we have a new student starting and she has joined our Wednesday group.  So we now do three full days per week.  Some of our students wanted to do two days per week, which is a great tribute to the work we are doing here at the Care Farm,  It goes without saying, that we couldn't do the extra day without help from our very willing volunteers so a huge thank you to all of them.

our beautiful lambs
We have been weighing the lambs regularly so that we can choose 3 or 4 to go off next week.  We try to have lamb to sell in October, and then pork for November/December.  We will have 3 lambs ready for the weekend of 10 October.  They look fantastic this year; better than ever.
The ewes are still on the bank, but we have reduced their field size so that they don't get too fat, before the ram comes at the last week of October.

Our veg boxes are still going well - we now have loads of runner beans, and delicious yellow and red tomatoes, and yellow and red raspberries!  Salad bags, and a mixture of kale and purple sprouting.

We had a group from Nationwide Building Society here a couple of weeks back - they spent all morning 'hedgerow' picking - ready for us to make our special Christmas Jellies.  Then they spent the next hour stacking all our straw bales in the yard ready for the winter - there were some very impressive photographs!  A big thank you to the group - it's great to have volunteer support from local businesses.
Nationwide volunteers bale stacking!

Blackberries and Sloes picked by the volunteers
 for our hedgerow jelly
We have more Open Days planned for week of 5 October, so anyone interested in the Care Farm can come and have a look round.  Our students love showing people round!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

new term!

We had great weather for our Car Boot Sale on Bank Holiday weekend ....not enough car 'booters' but a good lot of punters!   Next year we are going to make it a Family Fun Day, with lots of different attractions.  Thank you to all our helpers - especially Neil, Karen, Jacqui, Gerry and of course Mike, Luke and Mia - who were on traffic duty!  A special thank you too to Fi and David Symondson for the loan of their field.

Patch at his first show...winning
a rosette!

It's our first week back with students and they have all been working really hard.  We have been busy cleaning out the yard; in preparation for the winter and storing straw for bedding.  We managed to get about 50 straw bales loaded, unloaded and stacked in the yard on thursday - i'm sure all our students slept well that night!
The lambs enjoying themselves next to the Care Farm

The lambs have been weaned and are in the field by the Care Farm - we have 3 cracking lambs ready to go off to the butchers at the end of the month.

We have had a good summer for vegetable boxes - supplying three or four families each week;  together with eggs from the hens and ducks.

We have a week of Open Days coming up again in October - so do look at the website for details

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Our regular students are now on holiday for 5 weeks or so, but of course there's still lots to do on the farm!  We had a lovely end of term picnic lunch last week and gave out our 'in-house' certificates and worksheets to the students.  They especially loved the mugs Gerry had ordered for them - each one had their own name and a photograph of their favorite Care Farm animal on the back! My mother came to the lunch along with Sue, one of our fantastic Trustees, and it was lovely to be able to show them what we had been doing this year.

The ducklings that Cheltenham Ladies College hatched for us are enormous!   They have now been out with the other ducks for a week, but still sleep in their own house while it's so hot...The chicks are also all in together with the main hens at night, but there is a definite 'pecking order' when they are let out!.
the ducklings sampling the pond!

can you spot what's in this photo? 
We had a visiting group of volunteers here today, from Mira Showers in Cheltenham.  They worked tirelessly painting the porta cabin and weeding, strimming and clearing the banks and round the back of the portacabins.   We are so grateful to everyone that can give up their time to help....and the whole site looks great now - ready for our School Age Summer Activities starting next week!

If you haven't booked your children in - it may be too late, but worth an email to Gerry just in case....

Dont forget to come along to the CAR BOOT SALE in NORTH CERNEY on SATURDAY 29 AUGUST at 10am!

Thursday, 2 July 2015


Oh dear yet again i've got really behind with my 'blogging' - sorry!   So much has been happening here....we sold 9 of the weaners last month, and have kept 3 boars and a lovely gilt.   The two breeding gilts have gone to a lovely new home near Wallingford, and hopefully will be breeding before long.  Did you know that there are only 500 registered Oxford Sandy and Black sows in this country?   We are really pleased to be part of the breeding programme.
The fab four!

The weather has been SO hot this week, that we moved the 4 piglets up to their new home in the woodland where they have masses of room and lots of shade and they are loving it.  Sandy is in the next woodland area having a well earned rest.

We have had lots of chicks hatching from two of our bantams, but no such luck with the incubator...we bought 18 fertile eggs and incubated them, but yet again we only had 2 chicks hatch!  They are lovely lavender arucanas, and we are really hoping that they are both girls!
We have been given 5 lovely ducklings that were hatched by Cheltenham Ladies College pupils - gosh they are filthy little blighters, but very endearing!  They have been under heat lamps in the porta cabin but we have had them out during the day.

All our raised beds are brimming with vegetables and we have been thinning and picking regularly.   The salads are huge in the poly tunnel, and the fruit is coming along beautifully.  The sweet peas are flowering, and so we have been picking furiously to make sure they keep coming.  We delivered the first 70 stems to Oops a Daisy in Cirencester today - hopefully we will be able to keep supplying them for at least a month.

We had 3 very successful Open Days in June with lots of visitors and some great feed back. Open Farm Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, and Gerry and Jo with Danny, showed everyone around.  Lots of local people came having googled farms listed on the National Open Farm Website.

Sunday, 17 May 2015


I have been away on an adventure....so Gerry has been in charge for the last week or so.  The piglets look enormous already- they have started trying to escape from the nursery, and i normally have to put at least one back in every time i go up to check on them!  Sandy really is an amazing mother.

If you know anyone who is interested in buying piglets to bring on, they will be ready to move on in another 3 weeks or so

The students have all bee tidying up the care farm this last week, with the volunteers they have been painting hen houses and sheds, and sorting out all our veg and flower seedlings and potting them on ready to sell at the plant sale on 23 May.

We have quite a few potential students visiting over the next couple of weeks, so that's very exciting, and we then have a series of Open Days planned in June.
Sandy with her piglets!

10 TO 1

Saturday, 25 April 2015

We are back!

Sandy has farrowed!  She has 13 piglets....amazing!  She is a real star, and looks after them all brilliantly. The students were SO pleased to meet the piglets when they came back ...i think they have all had photos taken holding one!  Sandy doesn't seem to mind us picking them up, although they are a bit more 'squeely' now!!
Just looking!
Rob, the vet came to castrate the boars, but unfortunately one of the boars was more tricky ...he could only find one 'ball'...!  We will have to keep checking it each week, until it drops!

There is lots going on in the garden too....getting all the raised beds ready for planting, putting in potatoes, peas, and more broad beans.  The poly tunnel is positively heaving with salads, veg seedlings and flower seedlings.  We are selling mixed salads to the pub each week, and hope to sell lots of seedlings at the plant sale on 23 May, at the Village Hall.

Last night we held a quiz at the Village Hall, in aid of the Care Farm.   Neil Hainsworth, Charlotte's father, organised it all, and it was done on the big screen - lots of questions about movies, music and tv ....we didn't do well i'm afraid!  If we were better 'Archers' listeners we would have done - lots of questions about those actors.
A big thank you to Neil for organising all the questions, and compering.

i am away next week, but will blog again in a couple of weeks.

OPEN DAYS ARE WEEK COMMENCING 15 JUNE!  Do get in touch if you would like to visit.

OPEN FARM SUNDAY IS 7 JUNE 10 - 1pm  Families welcome

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Lambing has finally finished - we had our last set of twins this morning ...i went out to the field at 6.30am and found 'June' with one very yellow looking lamb, and another one struggling to get out.  The yellowy brown colour is usually a sign that the ewe has really struggled to lamb on her own....so we will give her some antibiotics to make sure she doesn't come down with anything.
Sadly 'Lucky' didn't make it....i'm afraid he got pneumonia - after all that tube and bottle feeding too...

We have had a really good show of ewe lambs this time - 14 out of 20 ....extraordinary, as in previous years, our ewe total has been 3! They are all enjoying this lovely sunshine - long may it last.

Sandy is enormous and i hope she will farrow any day ....but not during the night with any luck!

The poly tunnel is brimming with salads, and we are growing lots of veg plants and flowers for the annual plant sale in the Village Hall on 23 May

We have a volunteer training day on Monday, and start back with students next Thursday.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The students finish for Easter tomorrow, so we are having our usual end of term Easter Picnic - everyone brings a plate of food to share - one year we hid Easter eggs all round our garden, and it was so hot they all melted while we had our picnic!  Not sure that will happen tomorrow....weather has been really horrific the last few days

Lambing continues at a good rate - we now have 5 sets of twins.   One set from our old ewe has a lamb that's very fragile - i have been 'tube' feeding it every few hours until yesterday, when he has now managed to move onto a bottle.  He (LUCKY) as i have now nicknamed him can now stand outside the pen and is drinking nearly 30mls of milk substitute...amazing - fingers crossed!
We have 7 more ewes left to lamb

We moved Sandy back to the Nursery on monday, ready for her to farrow anytime from next week onwards - she looks amazing!

Hens are still laying really well and we have one bantam (or maybe two) laying in an ark, so are hoping they will go broody.
We have had  problems with mites again - cant believe it at this time of year - and have been 'dusting' the hens and cleaning out vociferously...it's such a nightmare to get rid of

i do hope our supporters and friends will be coming to the quiz in April .....FRIDAY 24th April to be exact - ring for details/to book a team in!

HAPPY EASTER, and i will really try to post some photos.....i promise!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

WE HAVE OUR FIRST SET OF TWINS!  THEY ARRIVED YESTERDAY - TWO EWE LAMBS ...only trouble is their father is a Portland ram! He managed to jump in with the wiltshire horn ewes and was arm in arm with 'no. 11' next morning!  The other 11 ewes shouldn't start till at least a week's time but we are getting them in at night as it's much easier to keep any eye on them all.

Sandy gets bigger by the day - she really looks fantastic - i photographed her yesterday and will try and add it to this blog...!

The students have been busy making up fantastic 'veg boxes' for selling all the produce in this year.  We are hoping that we can sell at least 6 per week during the summer - mixed salads, and vegetables

We finish for Easter on 2 April, and start again on Thursday 16th April.  Don't forget OPEN FARM SUNDAY ON 7 JUNE!  The Care Farm is open from 10am to 1pm.


Monday, 9 March 2015

The ewes are growing daily...much to our surprise one in particular has grown bigger 3 weeks earlier than the others - and we think she will probably have some rather different coloured twins...all being well!(Lucy's Portland ram ran through the fence when he was put out next to our Wiltshire ewes - i discovered him arm in arm with one of our ewes the next morning!) The other 11 ewes should start lambing the week beginning 23 March.

Sandy is also looking a lot bigger, so we are really hopeful that she is 'in pig' again too.  

The students have been taking it in turns to work alongside John a new volunteer, in the wood workshop, making up vegetable boxes to sell all our produce in.  They are thoroughly enjoying it; as it's something new and different.  They are going to stencil 'Scrubditch' onto the side of each box, and we are hoping to fill them every week once our produce is up and growing, and sell a mixed box to locals.

I went on a training course last week at a Care Farm in the West Midlands.   We are producing our own 'Code of Practise' that we will be assessed against, and then hopefully get accredited and be able to have the Care Farming UK logo on everything.

We are looking forward to Gerry coming back in a couple of weeks - the students have been missing her, and it will be great to have her and Jo working here along with Garry on Mondays.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

All the students have settled back into the routine at the farm again.  The weather is very difficult to predict, so we ask them to bring lots of layers each week!  Last Thursday we met up with the Cotswold Wardens again down on the bank.  They have been clearing the stream at the bottom of the field - it was completely overgrown and blocked ....now with the help of the students it's running much more freely and we have a watering hole again.  We were blessed with gorgeous sunshine all morning, and armed with plenty of cakes for all the helpers, we had a great morning.
Alan showing Helen 'blowing up' Patch's nose
a technique to calm them

Yesterday, we loaded up Perry the boar first thing, and returned him to North Nibley.  I think Sandy was sad to see him go, but is pleased she doesn't have to share her food with anyone now!  She certainly looks as if she's 'in pig', so we will be watching her progress, and will move her back to the pig nursery in March.

We have started feeding the ewes hay now, as the grass is in short supply, and not enough goodness in it to nourish them and their offspring.  They will come back to the farm at the end of February so we can start giving them hard feed.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

spring term!

i know it's the Spring term, but the weather is definitely not being 'spring' like at the moment!
The woodland where our pigs are is looking a bit sorry - we have been putting loads of wood chipping into it to try and soak up the wet - the pigs don't appear to care less! But it does make it hard work for us - and it means that we can't let the students in to their enclosures....could mean lots of 'lost' wellies!
Perry and Sandy happy again!

Baxter just having a look round!
The ewes were scanned yesterday - our Thursday group of students brought them back from the bank field across country as its too wet to get the trailer anywhere near. So, Graham the scanner has predicted 8 sets of twins and 3 singles this time - great news!  Baxter has done his best, and hopefully we can get him back to Stanton St Quintin tomorrow (weather permitting)

Perry the boar is back staying with Sandy!   It was great bringing him here again - Sandy was calling to him when we pulled up outside and she came out to meet him...they almost walked off hand in hand!

The students have settled back into their routine very quickly, and love being back with all the animals.  It will soon be time to start planting up all the beds ....we have been busy preparing them, and have several beds of salads in the poly tunnel already.