Flamin' brilliant Fire Cadets
We were thrilled that South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue cadets wanted to help at the farm. In grim weather they put in a huge shift in our vineyard, helping to ensure we get a bumper crop again this year. Thanks you lot - you were flamin' brilliant!
We were so pleased when Ian Foster, branch manager for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Cadets got in touch to see whether we could do with a bit of help on the Farm. His cadets, between 13 and 17 years old, take part in practical training at fire stations on a weekly basis (at least they do during non-covid periods) alongside their academic work in order to gain experience and qualifications that will open doors for them in the future.
The Btec qualification they are involved with requires them to volunteer for 3 'social action' projects during the year and in the past they have been involved with conservation projects including tree planting, stream cleaning, trimming cycle paths and walkways of vegetation, painting wooden bridges, repairing dry stone walling and litter-picking. But what they hadn't done before was work in a vineyard - so this was the perfect opportunity to put that right!
So on Sunday 6th February (or Squall Sunday as it's now known up here!), Ian and 16 cadets headed up to the vineyard to meet Derek, our volunteer-extrodinaire who looks after our viticulture activities. It's thanks to his hard work and management that we produce up to 3,000 bottles of wine each year, the sales of which support the charitable work of the Trust. At this time of year he's up to his eyeballs in vine trimming - so was extremely grateful for a surge of secateurs! And what a difference the Cadets made - they cottoned on really quickly (the benefits of youth!!) and did a great job of helping to prune countless rows of vines. They seemed impervious to the weather, and knuckled down to their task for hours. We managed to break up the excitement with a few tractor tours of the Farm (thanks AJ!) before they headed off home, to dry clothes and a well-earned rest. Derek was really impressed by the lot of them - including the leaders - and reckons that, if this is what they're like all of the time, they'll be snapped up by future employers!!
So thank you to all of you. You made a huge impact up here and we're really grateful. What a flamin' brilliant bunch you are!!