Hackney City Farm manager takes stock as his 17th lambing season gets under way

Hackney City Farm manager Chris Pound with a newborn lamb. Picture: Hackney City Farm

Hackney City Farm manager Chris Pound with a newborn lamb. Picture: Hackney City Farm - Credit: Archant

Hackney City Farm’s manager Chris Pound, 50, tells the Gazette why he still loves his job – even after 16 lambing seasons.

Spring is the busiest time of year for Chris Pound.

As the manager of Hackney City Farm, it’s also his favourite.

“With spring there’s so much new life and the garden starts to green up after the winter,” he told the Gazette.

“I think the births of the lambs and the piglets are always a high point.

“We’ve had two lambs born this year and the piglets are on the way – we’re expecting a litter of between eight and 11.”

Since its own birth in 1984, the farm has become a Hackney institution, attracting 120,000 visitors each year.

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“There have been lots of changes as time has gone by, but it has definitely got more popular,” said Chris, who has been a member of staff for the last 16 years.

But Chris, now 50, never tires of the fun of the farm.

“Learning to ride a donkey while it pulls a cart around the place is an interesting experience,” he said. “And shearing the sheep is always great fun.”

With more than 120 volunteers helping out annually, the farm relies on the support of the local community to function.

“We’re continually looking for new volunteers,” Chris told the Gazette.

“We provide some precious green space and a community hub for people to come and get involved.

“They feel like they belong to something and something belongs to them too.”

He added: “The benefits of being involved as a volunteer, mentally and physically, are great for the local community.”

Help comes from on high, too. Chris credits the council for their continued assistance, and believes Hackney is a special part of the capital.

“Hackney Council has always given us a lot of support,” he admitted.

“We’re really proud to be so well supported by the borough.

“I’ve seen other boroughs that aren’t as supportive of the voluntary sector.

“What the council does is really significant for us.

“That’s what makes Hackney so different.

“It’s a melting pot of different people and communities and it has a strong community feeling.”