Surrey Docks Farm Response to Covid-19
Surrey Docks Farm is carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and is following government advice to limit the spread. The main Farm site remains closed to visitors while we focus on delivery of wide range of community projects for more vulnerable participants. The Thames path and our river gardens are open daily for access and views on to the goat yard.
Our priorities are ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, maintaining animal care standards and supporting our more vulnerable participants to engage safely. We also have serious financial concerns to address, our costs continue but income is drastically effected so we are working on new ways to sustain the Farm in the future.
We will let you know via our website and social media channels as soon as we have more information about re-opening for visitors. Thank you all for your continued support and understanding, we are so grateful for your kind comments and generous donations.
What is the Farm doing?
Here’s an update on what’s happening during the second lockdown:
1. We have kept the Thames path and our river gardens open from 10am-4pm every day. When out for your daily walk, you can look down through the fence onto our goat yard and duck pond. During the winter months are fields are too wet for the livestock, so you can now see our goats, sheep, donkeys and pony in the yard.
2. We’re also delighted to announce The Pear Tree Kitchen have extended the opening times of their pop-up cafe, serving from our River Room out onto the Thames Path. They are serving takeaway hot and cold drinks, cakes, pastries, sandwiches and a range of groceries. They also have a range of house plants for sale and are supporting the Farm by selling some of our shop merchandise, which make great Christmas presents! The pop-up is open from 10am-4pm every day but Wednesday.
3. We continue to rely on a dedicated team of volunteers who attend in small numbers for set shifts. We also have access slots for our plot holders to come in at the weekend to tend their raised beds.
4. We continue to deliver our online Farm Shop selling eggs and freshly harvested veg, plus our Gardening Shop and have seen over 500 households access this. Thank you for all your support!
5. Our adult students with learning disabilities continue to attend in their adapted training projects. Gaining new skills and contributing to the running of the Farm.
6. In August we also saw the return of our partner projects, such as Southwark’s Youth Offending Service who run carpentry workshops for young people at the Farm. Partner projects are all on hold during the lockdown period, we hope to pick things up again when/if things ease in December.
7. The government guidelines mean we had to revert back to online sessions for our Young Farmers youth clubs (aged 8-14) but we continue to offer 1:1 sessions for the increasing number of vulnerable individuals who have been seriously impacted by the lockdown effects.
8. We successfully applied for three capital projects this year. Throughout November, contractors are clearing our existing polytunnel and laying foundations for a new accessible greenhouse which will increase both the training space and the amount of food we can grow to feed our community. The contractors are also putting our Young Farmers plans into action, renovating our Wildlife Garden. In addition, we successfully gained funding from Veolia Environmental Trust to increase our outdoor hand washing facilities and to upgrade the toilets near the shop, to make them easier to clean and maintain. Quotes are being finalised and works will start in the new year.
9. We are concerned about the ongoing financial implications of the pandemic and are busy applying for funding to ensure our vital community projects can continue to run next year. We are also developing new income generation plans to support the Farm’s future.
How can you help?
Here are a few ways you can support the Farm through this challenging time:
- Help us raise much needed funds to cover our ongoing animal care costs of £7,000 per month via this donation campaign
- Order a gift from our wishlist such as new brushes and tools for volunteers, treats for the animals and seed for the wild birds.
- Shop online and buy organic eggs and fresh vegetables from us, with collections at the Farm gates from Thursday-Sunday.
- Interested in growing your own food from home? Visit our gardening shop. We have a range of Farm grown plants on offer!
- Keep in touch via our social media sites or send some snail mail – messages of support are always welcome and help boost the team’s morale!
How can I get in touch?
We are not able to monitor the Farm landline at present, as the team on site are all busy working outside and any admin time is spent working from home to reduce numbers on site.
Email is the best form of contact, but please bare with us as there may be a short delay replying. We’re getting lots of enquiries at present and are doing our best to keep on top of things!