Thursday, June 24, 2010

Please Help Us Save George!!

Hi everybody,

Everyone at the farm is sending out a big plea to anyone who can re-home or help to find someone who can re-home George, our gorgeous tame sheep.

Those of you that regularly read our blog will know all about George. He has the most gorgeous character since he was born at Fordhall two years ago. After being rejected by his mum he was hand-reared and everyone fell in love with him, especially Hannah and Maz. He has been a great attraction for people to come and see him, pet him and say hello.

Unfortunately, when we held our summer fair on 13th June, two little boys went to say hello to him and he became a bit playful. After the two boys had been stroking George for a while he got playful and knocked them both over! Neither boy was hurt, but it came as a bit of a shock to them causing a few tears. It has also raised concerns with Ben and Charlotte about having George around the farm with the general public.

This had never happened before, but it could happen again, and so Ben has decided it is time to let George go. Everyone was devastated fearing George was going to be lamb chops!

Usually when hand-reared sheep is old enough it is put out in the field and soon adjusts to being with other sheep, thus becoming more timid with humans. However, George was shown more affection and was even allowed to come into the office; he still runs to Hannah when in the field. Due to our intervention we do not feel it is fair for George to be killed as we have been the cause of his great affection to people. Therefore we would love for someone to give him a loving home, in a large playful environment, where we can keep up to date with how he is doing.

If anyone can help in anyway, it would be immensely appreciated. We only have one week to find him a new home otherwise we may lose him, so please hurry!

Please contact us if you can help 01630 638696 or email


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fordhall's first working weekend of the summer....!

After such a busy Summer Fair Weekend and Beer Festival merely a few weekends ago Fordhall are preparing for their first working weekend of the Summer. The next volunteer weekend is 3rd – 4th July and we are hoping that this great weather continues!

Jobs that we hope to complete this weekend include installing our chainsaw carvings, completing work on our new boardwalk, way marking our farm trail and lots more. It is usual for volunteers to come from all parts of the countryas well as across Shropshire. So if you fancy a weekend doing something different then get in touch, we currently still have spaces left in the yurts too!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fordhall Farm Beer Festival and Summer Fair were a great success

Fordhall Farm's weekend of festival activities have been a fantastic success this weekend. The real ale and live music went down a storm. Plus all the activities on Sunday kept everyone entertained for hours. We had tractor rides, welling wanging, archery, chainsaw carving, fishing, pond dipping, vegetable growing, farmers' market, fire engines, sheep shearing, face painting, cob sculptures, tree climbing and so much more.
The sun shone (well for all but the last hour of the weekend when it poured down!). Our volunteers were fantastic, the bands were wonderful and the community really enjoyed it.

There are so many thanks to make after such a successful event including A.R. Richards for the fantastic farm machinery and tractor rides, The Good Tree company for the tree climbing, the local firemen for allowing the children to climb all over the engine, all of the amazing bands who kept our visitors entertained for the weekend - they really made the whole atmosphere, the local breweries who supplied beautiful real ales , Ago from Melody Corporation for the amazing marquee, our wonderful sheep shearers, Ben the farmer and many more people besides. Even Johnty from BBC Radio Shropshire enjoyed himself with a few ales - including the special Fordhall Ale in a special edition Fordhall half pint tanckered!
The farm in all its spring glory was the perfect backdrop to this summer event. The real ales were a first for Fordhall, but it is certainly something we will continue with. As the sun shone bright, it was the perfect afternoon chill out: sitting on the grass with the sheep grazing nearby, real ale in the glass and live music too. 

But huge thanks should go to Hannah for the great organisation, Beth for the wonderful bands and to Becca for helping to keep us all in order on the day. Well done one and all - here's to next year :-)

A big thank you must go to all those who supported us over the weekend by attending the event. We know that many travelled from across the country for this weekend including Devon, Kent, Lancashire and Birmingham - thank you.  
If you came along to the day and enjoyed yourself we would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments here.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fordhall Beer Festival and Summer Fair - This weekend!

If you fancy getting into the party mood before England kicks off its World Cup campaign on Saturday then why not come along to our beer festival ?

We have got two great days planned this weekend! The festival (on both days)  features top local bands as well as an impressive range of locally brewed ales plus it all finishes before kick off at 7.30! The festival then continues on the Sunday when we are holding our annual Summer Fair as part of the national ‘Open Farm Sunday,’ event where the public are encouraged to visit local farms. There is a full programme of attractions including a farmers' market, tractor, fire engine, chainsaw carvings, tree climbing and woodland art, live music, hot food, and more.

Both days cost just £2 a ticket (under threes get in free) and will both be great days out.
For more information please call 01630 638696.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Shropshire Organic Farmer goes to Brussels!

Yes that's right - here I am! At an EC Conference in Brussels titled: Biodiversity - our lifeline. I arrived this morning for the EC's Green Week Conference of 2010. Their subject, biodiversity, is something that has always been close to our hearts at Fordhall, ever since my father, Arthur Hollins, stopped applying chemical fertilisers to the land over 65 years ago.

Ever since, Fordhall Farm has relied on the rich magical life under the soil surface to breakdown our manure and provide the food that keeps our grass healthy and growing. Somehow, I have been invited to speak in a workshop tomorrow: The soil life we walk on - does it matter? I will be alongside some very well versed speakers including the Head of the Department of Multitrophic Interactions, Netherlands Institue of Ecology, and a gentleman from the Laboratory of Soil Microbiological Analysis, France.

Nothing more than a simple farmer amongst them all, I will endeavour to tell the story of how dad returned the fertility to our soils, saving our farm from bankruptcy in the process, by encouraging and protecting the life beneath our feet....wish me luck!

It is a huge honour to be invited to speak to such a prestigious audience, and it certainly means that Fordhall is spreading its influence.

More information can be found at