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Friends group in call to save Acton Scott Working Farm

A new group called Friends of Acton Scott Farm Museum has issued a rallying call to save the heritage venue near Church Stretton as Shropshire Council ponders its future.

Getting ready for apple pressing day in 2020, wagoner Simon Trueman, with 'Alfie', at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm
Getting ready for apple pressing day in 2020, wagoner Simon Trueman, with 'Alfie', at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm

The council, which has operated the site for over 40 years, says the farm has been operating at a loss and has launched a consultation as it looks at options for the way ahead.

The Friends fear that a permanent closure could be on the table.

Acton Scott Historic Working Farm has starred on various television programmes and is popular for school trips and days out.

Alice Walker, leader of the Friends group, which is in the process of setting up, said: “We are urging anyone who wants to save the museum to contact us and also invite people to engage with Shropshire Council’s consultation on"

The farm museum shut in the summer after two cases of E.coli were confirmed, and has not reopened. E.coli is a bacterial infection which can be spread to humans by contact with animals.

The historic working farm showcases traditional skills and highlights rare and native breeds on farmland untouched by modern farming methods and machinery. All farm work is currently undertaken by resident shire horses.

It also hosts artisans who practise and demonstrate things like butter making and brick making, and rarely-seen trades such as wheelwrighting and farriery still take place on the farm.

Alice said: “Without places such as Acton Scott providing a venue, these skills would be at even greater risk of dying out.

"Acton Scott Museum has also featured many times on television and a series of heritage programmes have been created on location on the listed farmyard, parts of which date to about 1767.

"The farm museum has educated and entertained for over 40 years and we see it thriving again in the future. It enjoys a great community atmosphere and has been a most successful tourist destination – until the pandemic. In fact it is a hub for those with knowledge to share and those who want to learn.

"Ecology and conservation are vitally important and the farm is already near to complete carbon neutral status. We want to ensure that it will meet people’s expectations for safeguarding the environment.”

Alice added: "We welcome people to help us in any way they can, whether it is by a financial donation, or in some practical way – maybe by offering advice and support as we strive to establish a working group to go forwards into the future and enjoy a successful outcome.”

She can be contacted at

In the summer of 2020 founder of the farm, Tom Acton, died aged 95. He was instrumental in creating the popular farming attraction in 1975.

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