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Lord Lieutenant visits the Farm


We had a smashing day when the Lord Lieutenant, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman DBE, visited us last week.

We had a smashing day when the Lord Lieutenant, Professor Dame Hilary Chapman DBE, visited us last week.  We'd been lucky enough to have been given a beautiful rowan tree to add to the Queen's green canopy, and the Lord Lieutenant kindly agreed to do the ribbon cutting.  As is fitting on a farm, she used sheep shears to unveil the plaque which is at the entrance to the Trust so that all our visitors can see it.  We need to say a big thank you to our students, who used our sheeps' fleeces to make the plaque cover, and local company Reyt Shot Golf who produced a great mount for the plaque out of English oak - it doesn't get more home grown than that!

Following the unveiling, we took the Lord Lieutenant on a tour of the Farm.  First stop was Beech, our fantastic new education centre, then down to the Old Hen House to see the students in action - tending the livestock.  Then past the cafe and solar panels - the latter generously donated and recently installed by the great folk of Gripple - before heading to the Residential Hall where kids from Woodhouse West Primary school had been having their first big farm adventure.

Next stop was the Cow Barn where Ash, the Farm Manager, was busy shearing.  The Lord Lieutenant knew what hard work keeping the sheep fit is - she was raised on a farm herself.  In fact she and Holly, our Farm apprentice, had a great chat - they could both drive a tractor before they could drive a car!

Then up to the vineyard to meet Derek Heny - our wine and vine guru.  The Lord Lieutenant is a wine fan too, and so they discussed the challenges of growing grapes on a Yorkshire hill farm.  Challenges there may be, but the Lord Lieutenant was impressed that Derek and his team had produced 6000 bottles of wine in 2022!

Finally it was back to the Bottom Yard and the Gateway kitchen, where the students had been busy making the nibbles - falafel, flat breads, tzatziki and fresh fruit, all washed down with a glass of Whirlow fizz.  John Jenkins, another of our volunteering stalwarts, presented the Lord Lieutenant with a selection of our wines as a parting gift, along with an open invitation to come back up to refresh her tractor driving skills!

What a great day for all involved!

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