Shear delight and lessons learned at Open Farm day

Herald Series: Fran and Alex Giles at Beckley Community Orchard        Picture: OX67709 Antony Moore Buy this photo Fran and Alex Giles at Beckley Community Orchard Picture: OX67709 Antony Moore

FAMILIES across Oxfordshire were making the most of the sunshine by getting out in the county’s farms and orchards.

As part of Open Farm Sunday, which celebrates British farms and their produce, farms opened their doors to the public for tours and activities.

Jim Brown, from Newbury, went to the Challow Hill Farm near Wantage to pick up some tips on sheep shearing.

He said: “I’m a farmer myself and I have some sheep of my own and I’d sheared them that weekend, but I didn’t get on very well.

“The instructor was giving me some tips.”

Herald Series:

Nick Brown, left, helps visitor Jim Brown shear a sheep

Nick Brown has been the shearing instructor at the farm’s open day for the past three years. He said: “It’s a nice break from the usual of shearing 200 sheep a day.

“But it does slow you down, especially when you’re giving tips to other people.”

In Beckley, communities came together to plant apple trees and share a barbecue.

FarmAbility, a charity that helps adults with autism and learning disabilities through farming, joined the Beckley Community Orchard team.

Event organiser and FarmAbility programme director Sarah Giles said: “It was a brilliant opportunity for our farmers to meet new people with expertise.”

Herald Series:

Frankie Wright, four, with a chick at Challow Hill Farm 

Her children Fran, eight, and Alex, six, came along too.

Fran, a pupil at Wolvercote Primary School, said: “We helped plant two apple trees and we did a lot of digging and weeding. Whenever you got stuck there was someone else to help you.”

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