Fordhall Organic Farm at Market Drayton runs a number of community projects and two of its dedicated volunteers pitched in to help create a new festive trail.
The trail was created by Paul and Grace Bishop who have been attending the Afternoon Amble project. Fordhall launched the Afternoon Amble project back in July with funding from the National Lottery Covid Community Fund.
It allowed the farm to implement a weekly Afternoon Amble to support those suffering from isolation and rural loneliness. Afternoon Amble has been a lifeline now to over 40 different people who have accessed it since it began. It runs each Friday from 2pm and includes a natural craft session and a complimentary cup of tea and cake.
Mike Grabarz, volunteer leader at the farm, said: “Paul and his wife Grace are two of our Afternoon Amblers and we realised how talented and crafty they were after discovering they spent years working as local children's entertainers.
"Seizing this opportunity, we asked Paul and Grace for their ideas for a new community Christmas trail. Using salvaged pallet wood, and taking on board our Fordhall ethos of recycling, upcycling and community involvement, they both spent time here and at home where they crafted into life wonderful elf characters which form the basis of the trail.
"Our new community Christmas trail really is the embodiment of the word 'community'. It has been created, constructed and produced by Paul and Grace alone. This trail is such a beautiful achievement and creation for our whole community to enjoy this Christmas. It's so wonderful to see that Afternoon Amble has not only been enjoyed by so many local people, but it's allowed Paul and Grace to show off their passions and talents that will be spread and enjoyed throughout our wider community at a much-needed time.
"We can all see how much they have enjoyed coming to the Amble and have described these sessions as 'a real lifeline to us' during the Covid restrictions. We are already looking forward to the next trail they are busy creating for spring."
All proceeds from the community Christmas trail are going to the new Appeal for Change. This appeal was created to raise funds to 'help inspire a better future'; one that is supporting the fight against climate change, one that is kinder to each other, and one that appreciates and cares for the natural world.
Find out more at fordhallfarm.com/changeappeal
The community Christmas trail is open this weekend, December 5 and 6 and then Tuesday to Sunday up until Christmas Eve, and entry is £2 per child. There is no need to book, just collect and entry sheet from Arthur’s Farm Kitchen (open Thursday to Sunday) or the Farm Shop if visiting on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
For more details on the trail, Friday Afternoon Amble or Appeal for Change call the office on 01630 638696.