Just about every borough in London has a ‘city farm’ – Tower Hamlets, being a bit special, has three (Spitalfields, Stepney and Mudchute if you’re interested)
City farms are places where children can familiarise themselves with farm animals and other more exotic domesticated breeds – quite a few also offer horse-riding and many have allotments and flower gardens in addition to their other facilities.
The London Borough of Greenwich’s city farm, the Woodlands Farm Trust, differs from most in that it isn’t really in an urban environment. It occupies one corner of a large area of common land which incorporates Oxleas Wood and the local golf course just off Shooters Hill.
The Woodlands Farm Trust is a pleasant spot to visit although it is relatively short on facilities in comparison to some of its neighbours – the only livestock they have are cows, sheep, chickens and pigs (although the latter in great abundance including lots of piglets) and a lone Shetland pony. There is, however, a delightful cottage garden outside the building which serves as their offices, and it does occupy a very large tract of land – walk into the heart of the farm and you could be forgiven for thinking that you were miles out of town, deep in the countryside.
The Woodlands Farm Trust also puts on lots of events for the local community – coming up soon are an ‘apple celebration’ on 14 October which will include apple pressing, a treasure hunt and live music, and on 20 October you can get involved in a day of ‘sloe gin’ making!
There’s lots more information about what goes on down on the farm at the Trust’s website here.