Open day planned at family farm
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A FAMILY run Staindrop farm is opening its gates to the public as part of the LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Open Farm Sunday scheme.
Blakeley Farm, run by the Fox family on Moor Lane, will be open to visitors on Sunday, June 9, from 10am to 6pm.
The farm is managed by Ben and Paula Fox along with daughter Heather and son Matthew. The family returned to farming only recently and took up the farm tenancy about a year ago.
Mr Fox said it is primarily a dairy farm with pure-bred Holstein cattle, but they also have flocks of Mule and Texel sheep, free-range chickens and pigs.
He added: “We also have 18 rare breed Soay sheep. We took them on as a rescue mission.”
Blakeley Farm is one of only two farms in the dale to take part in the LEAF Open Farm Sunday scheme, the other being Raby Home farm.
Daughter Heather said: “It is important to show kids the things that we take for granted. It is a lot of work getting ready for it.”
Sheep-shearing and cow milking will be on show. Children can meet the lambs and calves on the farm and Miss Fox is also hoping to have time to give a sheep dog demonstration with her five-year-old collie May.
Various trade stands will be showing off their products on the day.
Milk-shakes, cakes, teas and coffees will be on sale during the day, but people are welcome to bring their own picnics as well.
Entry is free, but donations are welcome which will be used to offset the costs of the day as well as to support Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.
For more information about the day contact Miss Fox on 07964 556959.