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VIDEO: Hackney City Farm cock-a-hoop over 30th birthday cash gift

PUBLISHED: 11:27 16 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:14 16 October 2014

Clover the Donkey

Clover the Donkey

Isabel Infantes/07795350975

A farm that is marking 30 years in the community has had more than a big birthday to celebrate this month.

Tamsworth pigs at the farmTamsworth pigs at the farm

As well as commemorating the milestone anniversary, Hackney City Farm in Goldsmith’s Row, Haggerston, has also been given a huge cash boost for its work with local residents, schools and groups.

The Arts Council has given the farm £15,000 for a new programme of workshops, events and interactive projects.

One project, Stepping Out, calls on residents and visitors to share their memories of the farm to construct a permanent interactive map.

Farm manager of 15 years, Chris Pounds, said: “I think the biggest change over the years is in how we are funded and also how we have changed with the area.

Chris Pounds, Farm ManagerChris Pounds, Farm Manager

“Our project working with young people has gone from being a referral unit to being registered with Ofsted.

“The area has also changed. Now there are hundreds of people on the weekends and we have carried on developing with that.

“There is a really creative streak in Hackney. We get groups coming to use the farm, art schools during the summer, people planting the garden – even the staff are actors or in a band.”

The animals at the farm also have rich, colourful histories that reflect the vibrancy of the borough.

These include 20-year-old donkey Larry who pined for a mate for years until ex-cart donkey Clover was found to keep him company.

There is also Little Sheep, who was found as a lamb in a London flat and, at age 11, has lived beyond the usual sheep lifespan.

There is another sheep, pairs of goats, calves and pigs and countless birds, all watched over by three cats.

Chris said: “The farm is important primarily because it is a connection of animals, food and countryside.

“It’s seen as an oasis now, but it wasn’t before. We used to have chickens and horses in the road. With the pace of our busy lives that has disappeared. Hackney City Farm is a way of reconnecting with that.”

From a farm which began through community-led action, Chris said it still had the local people at its heart.

He said: “I feel proud with all that we have achieved and the community that has supported us.

“When I talk to other people it seems like we are in such a good position. It makes me proud of the badge that says ‘I love Hackney’.”

Check out our exclusive farm video above.

To find out more about Stepping Out, visit: hackneycityfarm.co.uk.


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