Open Farm Sunday pulls in the crowds

RSPB Community Officer Lauren Shannon was on hand to help kids pond dip.Open farm Sunday has taken place annually since 2006 and gives farmers the opportunity to open up their farms to allow members of the public to learn more about farming and understand how our food is produced. One of those farms was the Cheshire Wildlife Trust's base Bickley Hall Farm, where the public were invited to see how the Trust are managing their farm and see conservation grazing in action. There was also a host of exciting actiivities to get involved with, including weaving a willow dragonfly, pond dippng, bird box building which were run in partnership between Meres and Mosses, the RSPB and Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Long horn cows are kept on the farm meadows and families were also invited to meet the cattle and the latest flock of lambs. The climax of the day arrived with the re-release of the hedgehog that has been cared for by Meres and Mosses since last winter, which was late to come out of hibernation and needed to gain enough weight before entering life back in the wild. Hedgehogs have been in decline for many years now and have been greatly impacted by changing climate; often not reaching a healthy weight in time to survive the winter in hibernation. The Meres and Mosses hedgehog, cared for by our farm advisor Elizabeth Walker, was one of seven taken in by Shropshire Wildlife Trust staff from a rescue centre that had become inundated with orphaned hoglets last October.

Approximately 700 people visited the event throughout the day, making this the biggest Open Farm Day to date.



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