News & Events

Open Farm Sunday 9th June 2013

 Wheelbirks Parlour held their forth annual Open Farm Sunday on 9th June, in association with LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). The day was part of a wider event throughout the UK where over 365 farms opened their ‘gates’ to the public so they can learn more about rural life. This year’s Open Farm Sunday events featured a theme for visitors to ‘discover the story behind their food’.

Lucinda Richardson, who runs the Parlour, said “It was such a fantastic day, we were so pleased with the response from our visitors and customers. It is a brilliant opportunity to let people in and show them the day to day running of Wheelbirks.”

“It is always one of our busiest days, and this year was no exception. We had 937 – the most ever, according to our friend Colin Stokoe, a local retired farmer and volunteer who was greeting people on the gates and counting them in!”

There was an abundance of activities to interest all ages. The tractor & trailer rides around the farm were as popular as ever, brothers Hugh and Tom Richardson who farm at Wheelbirks gave a commentary on the rides. Michael Richardson, father of Hugh & Tom, who used to farm at Wheelbirks was the guide for the walking farm tours.

In keeping with the ‘story behind our food’ theme there was a great focus on the Jersey herd’s milk production. Famous for their unpastuerised milk, Wheelbirks was the perfect place to discover the journey from field to milk bottle! Herd manager Chris Shipley demonstrated and explained the workings of the milking parlour, with guests able to get up close and personal with the cows whilst they were being milked. There was even a cow to meet and greet in the car park!

Chris commented “I was proud to be able to show our lovely girls doing what they do best. Everyone was very interested in the process, it’s not a thing people can see very often but we were able to show that here is a lot more to that bottle sitting on the supermarket shelf!”

The Parlour has its own Victoria orchard, in which there was face painting and a children’s animal challenge – where the correct animal had to be match to their home, their food, their footprints and even their poo! Customers enjoyed a Woodland Walk in the gorgeous weather, following a map of the farm and having to locate various wooden sculptures.

Posted on 11 June 2013

Tractor tourIce cream counterOutside in the OrchardTractor rideMilking parlourFarm signChris