When I was just a piglet, my mother taught me to read using the signs around our pig pen, and ever since then I’ve dreamed of being able to use all the words I learnt, which means I’m ever so excited to be bringing you this month’s newsletter, especially as it almost Easter!
We pigs love Easter, not just because of all the lovely visitors, but also the Easter Egg hunts. Did you know that pigs have an excellent sense of smell and have been used to hunt for underground truffles for centuries? It gives me a real head start when searching for those Easter treats. But that’s enough about me, now it’s time for all the news from Vauxhall City Farm this April…
Easter time is here!
The Easter holidays will already have started by the time this newsletter goes out, so if you already have a trip to the farm planned, we’re about to make it even better, and if you haven’t yet pencilled us in, perhaps now is the time!
First up, we will be running Easter Egg hunts in our newly developed Community Garden on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday. For £4, kids (and big kids!) will be able to go on their very own hunt, and everyone who takes part will receive an Easter Egg to take home and enjoy over the long weekend.
Tickets will be available each day from 10.30am at our Welcome Desk, and hunts will take place at 12.30pm and 1.30pm daily. Please ask at the Welcome Desk during your visit if you have any questions. And don’t worry, I’ll be keeping my keen snout up at the farm end, so our hunters won’t have too much competition.
Then, available daily on our Welcome Desk, we’ll have our Easter Activity bags on sale for £3. These bags are packed with puzzles and fun to take you around the farm and then some.
We will also be running regular Cuddle Corners, so for £4, you can spend ten minutes with some of our smaller animals, including, no doubt, our very own Easter Bunnies.
Remember that all profits from farm activities are used to support our animals and educational programmes throughout the year, so by stroking that rabbit, you’re doing a lot of good!
If you still need more, or your favourite animal is a little bigger than those in the Cuddle Corner, then you could book a VIP Meet & Greet, and get up close and personal with the animal of your choice, including us pigs. To book a VIP Meet & Greet, you will first need to purchase a
voucher on our website, then call or email our team to book in your session.
Down in the Old Dairy Café, on Wednesday 5th April, our lovely volunteer, Shelia, will be holding a felting demo from 11am onwards. If you’ve admired the beautiful, wool animals sold in our gift shop, now is your chance to see how they are crafted, entirely by hand, using the fleece from the animals here at Vauxhall City Farm.
This session is completely free, and will run on a drop in basis, so if you’re in the café, do stop by and have a chat with Shelia about her work.
We will also be hosting our next Sofar Sounds night on Friday 14th April in our onsite bar, Faith’s Place, and me and my brother Clyde can’t recommend them enough! Every show consists of three amazing performers, but the twist is that you won’t know who’s playing until you arrive.
We’ve been blown away by the performers so far, so if I were you, I’d get my tickets before it’s too late. Click here to buy tickets directly from the Sofar Sounds website. Clyde and I will be in our pen, listening, so hopefully we’ll see (or hear) you there!
Finally, I’ve been told to let you know that the farm will be open as usual over the Easter holidays and bank holiday weekend, which means from 10.30am until 4pm, from Tuesday to Sunday (including Good Friday) and closed on Mondays.
New faces on the Farm
It’s a busy time of year for our Community Garden, as, not only do we have our Easter Eggs hunts taking place next week, but April is also prime planting time, luckily, we’ve had a new Gardener join our team, meet David Channell-Wright!
David has spent over twenty years working with volunteers, and after seeing the therapeutic benefits of gardening in his own life, he became determined to incorporate horticulture into his work.
David believes gardens should be a welcoming and inviting place for all and looks forward to welcoming our volunteers and visitors into our garden at VCF.
While you’re visiting the garden, you may notice two new buildings – our Greenhouse and Education Hut. These spaces will be used for our educational programmes and workshops, meaning we are able to develop and enrich our current offer, all of which will be headed up by our next new starter, Charlotte MacDonald!
These spaces will be used for our educational programmes and workshops, meaning we are able to develop and enrich our current offer, all of which will be headed up by our next new starter, Charlotte MacDonald!
Charlotte is a qualified Primary teacher and joins us after four years spent teaching in beautiful Mexico. With previous experience in the Charity Sector, Charlotte looks forward to channelling her skills into her role as Education and Partnership Manager at Vauxhall City Farm.
Our final two newbies are particularly popular with us pigs, as they’re the ones who will be feeding us! Meet Catherine Hartree, and Ethan Mitchell, our two Farmyard and Livestock Coordinators.
Catherine studied Animal Management at Capel Manor College and spent three years volunteering at Vauxhall City Farm before stepping into her new role. She has always wanted to work with animals, and her favourite at VCF are the goats with their cheeky personalities.
Ethan holds a level 2 qualification in Animal Care and level 3 in Animal Management and has kept many animals in his life. He loves all animals but admits that crocodiles and snakes are his favourite.
Ethan hopes to one day work with animals in Australia and looks forward to starting to put his plan into action here at Vauxhall City Farm.
Upcoming VCF adventures
With so much happening onsite, it’s hard to believe that Vauxhall City Farm has even more coming up offsite!
From the 7th to the 9th April, Vauxhall City Farm will be headed to Battersea Power Station for their Spring Festival. Alongside a huge variety of events taking place over the Easter holidays, VCF will be onsite at the historical power station with our animals for our first major mobile farm of the year. Visit us between 11am and 5pm, and though booking is not required, it is recommended to arrive early as we expect the event to get busy! Us pigs will remain on the farm, but they’ll be goats, sheep and alpacas in Battersea throughout the long weekend.
As big as that may seem, we have an even bigger mobile farm coming up in June. That’s right – Vauxhall City Farm is back at the Lambeth Country Show! The show is our biggest mobile farm of the year of the year, we’ll be bringing almost all of our animals down to Brockwell Park on the 10th and 11th June.
The weekend of the Lambeth Country Show is always a fantastic, fun time, but in order to make it work, we need plenty of volunteers! The show is running earlier than usual this year, so we are now on the hunt for volunteers, not only for the event itself, but also for the Friday and Monday ether side to help pack up and down.
Please register you interest ASAP by contacting our volunteering team: email@example.com.
A new booking system for the VCF Riding School
It’s been almost six months since we re-opened our Riding School after the pandemic, and while we are still working to build on our horses and lesson schedule, we are pleased to announce that we have a brand new booking system for Riding Lessons!
From here, you will need to create an account, verify your email and complete your rider registration details. Once you have done this and your registration has been confirmed by our Riding Team, you can download the EC Pro app and start booking lessons.
Please note that we will no longer be continuing with the six-week blocks, and our final week ended on Sunday 2nd April 2023.
We are also on the hunt for more Riding Volunteers, especially during the week, to help with yard work and lead horses on beginner lessons – the more volunteers we have, the more lessons we can give! So, if you are interested in becoming a member of the VCF Riding School Volunteer Team, please see our website for full details on the application process and to download our application form.
If you have any questions, please give our volunteering team a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-going building works
As mentioned in previous newsletters, building works will be happening across the farm site over the next few months. This work is part of the next phase of our redevelopment plan, and will result in a more accessible, better farm experience for all.
While we will try to keep disruption to a minimum, please be aware that some areas and gates will need to be blocked off while the work takes place. Please keep an eye out for signs during your visit and ask at our Welcome Desk if you have any questions. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during your visit but promise it will be worth it in the end!
Finally, please note that due to rising costs across the farm, we have had to make the difficult decision to increase some of our prices. The updated prices go into effect on Saturday 1st April, but – good news – the cost of VIP Meet & Greets and Cuddle Corner will remain the same, please visit our website for full details.
Hogs & Kisses!
Gosh, all that writing has made me rather tired, so it is time for me to put down my pen and return to my…um…pen!
If you would like any more information on visiting the farm, or events over the Easter Holidays, please visit our website or get in touch: email@example.com.
For now, I’m trotting back to Clyde, and we both hope to see you very soon at Vauxhall City Farm.
Hogs & Kisses, Bonnie
Don’t forget we have two purpose-built meetings room adjacent to our café, which are perfect for meetings, parties, and events. Please see our website for full details or contact our office team with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.