Social Farming is an innovative use of agriculture to promote therapy, rehabilitation, social inclusion, education and social services in rural areas.
Social Farming Awareness week will take place from Monday 3rd October to Friday 7th October 2022, with the opportunity to attend Social Farm visits across five different farms. The open days are taking place across Northern Ireland on a variety of different farm settings where you will be able to hear first-hand from the farmers and their participants. Specifically, there will be opportunity to visit two Social Farms in County Down:
- On Thursday 6th October, the visit is to Yellow Road Farm near Hilltown. Yellow Road Farm is a small family farm of approximately 43 acres, nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. They are members of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, which promotes sustainable farming practices. For many generations the family has lived and worked on the mountain pastures caring for cattle and sheep. Although this is still an important aspect of the farm business, in 2019 Yellow Road planted a woodland, which they are developing into mindful walks and community-based conservation projects. They also have a vegetable garden where they grow a wide variety of organic fruit and vegetables. Yellow Road have been delivering Social Farming since 2013 and currently deliver 4 days per week to participants with a learning disability, or individuals within mental health recovery services within the Southern Trust area.
- On Friday 7th October, the visit will be to Behind the Stable Door Farm near Bangor. The small family farm, located on the North Down coast with views overlooking Belfast Lough. Built in 1983, it is an arable farm with small sheep herd, but main activity is horses. Behind the Stable Door have bred horses and trained racehorses with success for approximately 20 years. The farm has also developed recently a recycling project called Ecoshred Bed where animal bedding is made from packaging cardboard waste. They have been delivering Social Farming since 2018 and are currently delivering 3 days per week to participants with learning disabilities and individual service users from mental health recovery within the South Eastern Trust area.
You are welcome to come along on one of these days to see a sample of what our farms offer and hear some stories of participants’ experiences on these farms. All potential participants, families, farmers, referral organisations, or anyone interested in learning about the benefits of Social Farming are welcome. Please feel free to circulate this invite to your networks.
Please note! Spaces are limited and booking is essential. Please book your space by completing the Google form below:
For further information contact: Nikki Foster, Social Farming Support Service Co-ordinator: email@example.com