Farm News

Field Preparation and Seating Area

This blog is going to be updated as the project progresses.

We spend a lot of time out on the field working; when it is hot or raining, we don’t have any shelter to sit, relax and hide from the elements. After discussions with volunteers, staff and the people we support we decided not only would it be nice to have an area to shelter and sit down but an area where we can relax and remain productive even if the weather is miserable or sweltering hot.

June/July 2023

We asked the people we support to outline what they would like to see in the new proposed area.

There were some really great ideas that came though including: raised beds, alpine areas, benches, shelter, flower beds, seating area for people to relax and eat their lunch and many more great ideas.

Over the years we have come to realise that there are many efficiency gains to be had on the farm. Currently we only have one compost bin area, which means that people often have to carry things a long way across the field. As part of this field development plan, we are going to create a new composing area to reduce the time and effort spent transporting green waste.

August/September 2023

We have been looking at progressing the ideas of the people we support, here are some of the ideas that we are developing.


We are now further on with our plans, it was decided that our shelter would need to have sides if it were to protect us from, winds and driving rain. We want this area to be as comfortable as possible for everyone. Here are some products that we have been considering. The items shown are only examples, it maybe that we may have to modify them in some way to suit our needs.

We would need to add walls to a gazebo to shield us from the wind and rain (image courtesy of Dunster House)
A field shelter might do the job but does not look very inviting (image courtesy of eBay)


We thought of space saving by incorporating a planting and seating area together. This idea would enable less physically able bodied gardeners an area that is easy to garden and presents new opportunities to demonstrate their design, planting and horticultural skills.

Obviously any plants grown in this area would need to be watered manually and would need to be able to tolerate a certain amount of shading.

(image courtesy of Newby Leisure Limited)
(image courtesy of

Alpine planters

Alpine plants have long searching roots that seek out water in the water deficient rocky environment. Many alpines are not suitable to grow in this country without protection from the winter wet.

Good drainage is essential for alpine plants, they are best grown in fast draining substrate that contains little organic matter and a high content of inorganic matter such as grit and sand.

Deep metal planters to allow suitable root space and drainage for alpine plants (image courtesy of eBay)

October and November

At our October development meetings, the trustees and team looked at the plot 5 to ensure it was the best plot to use for the field shelter, workstation and raised beds.

Access for wheelchairs featured highly in discussions after one of the people we support struggled to access the site from the path. This will need further investigation to ensure that it is accessible to all.

The suns path, winds and bonfire smoke direction were all considered and how these factors would feature in the development of the shelter on site.