In 2002 we gave a loving home to 3 rescued ponies, from an animal sanctuary near Sheffield. They learned to trust humans and bonds were forged between the animals and ourselves.
The animal sanctuary rescues a great variety of animals. During our next visit we fell in love with a pygmy goat and her kids. We brought them home a couple of weeks later. We have continued to give loving homes to unwanted animals and now have approx 100 animals.
We soon realised that these animals, once unwanted, had so much love to give that we needed to share it with others. Animals have a calming, therapeutic effect. In 2004 we established a small voluntary group called Nuzzlets and we welcomed our first visitors from Martin House Children’s Hospice.
The Shetlands were so calm with the children in wheelchairs; their heads are just the right height to rest on the children’s laps. The hairs on the Shetlands chins tickled the children’s hands and they responded and laughed so much. The pygmy goats nuzzled the children’s hands as they were being fed, they loved been fed and going for a walk. Stroking the animals encouraged movement and relaxed muscles.
Children now come from all over Yorkshire, many from towns. They are thrilled to feed the hens and collect the eggs, brush a donkey and watch the ducks on the pond.
Local schools visit and learn about animal welfare. DoE students complete their service section here and we offer work placements to students from local Schools, Colleges and Universities. We deliver talks to Beavers, Schools and Colleges about our work and animal welfare.
Everyone benefits, the animals love the attention and the children experience animal therapy.
Our animal family has grown; everything we do is totally voluntary and is for the love of animals and to help children.
Activities are tailor made to suit the needs of the children. They promote inclusion, encourage independence, build self esteem and confidence.
Therapeutic activities include:
Feed the poultry and goats.
Stroke our animals.
Collect the eggs (Summer only).
Rabbit show jumping.
Learn how to lead a rabbit on a harness.
Lead a goat round our own agility course.
Educational activities for schools include:
Consider issues concerning conservation, farming, the seasons and animal welfare.
Make a wormery or hedgehog home.
Collect minibeasts. Design classification keys and food chains. Look at habitats.
Plant seeds and take cuttings. Look at the variety of life including: plants, seeds, flowers, trees and birds.
We offer birthday parties for the families who visit throughout the year. Parties include a normal visit with extra activities such as party games. We decorate our log cabin to a party theme.
A suggested minimum donation for parties is £5.00 per child to cover consumables.
You can see photos of some of our animals on the gallery page. We have horses, ponies, goats, ducks, hens, bantams, turkeys, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep and hedgehogs.
Our DEFRA accreditation is a clear sign to all that we have very high standard of health and safety. ITV News visited the farm in June 2007 to report on our accreditation.
Our volunteers are learning to sign and we are starting to combine animal and music therapy.
We have ample car parking and a disabled toilet and hand washing facilities.
All our volunteers love animals and want to help children. We believe in fate and that we meant to help the animals and the children. We are privileged, we see the children’s faces light up. We have been described by the families as:
“A magical haven for children, a place where the children can be themselves and have new experiences.”
“The most wonderful place on Earth, the best day of her life.”
Visits and birthday parties are strictly by appointment only.