Whinflower Hall is leased from the Birdsall Estates. The Charity moved here on 11th April 2008 to take over the site and expand the services we offer. From the beginning, we appreciated the small-holding provided us with lots of space and people very quickly began to respond to the quiet, stress-free environment where they can focus and work towards reaching their potential. The outdoor projects and activities promote an active lifestyle where people are encouraged to try new tasks.
The first training programme set-up at Whinflower Hall was the poultry project. We bought rare-breed Ixworth eggs from EBay and day old Rhode Island Red chicks from a local supplier. This project encouraged the people we support to engage in a range of skills using a small animal that people could easily handle. Our service users learnt tasks including animal husbandry - learning how to use an incubator, candling egg to check they are fertile and feeding/watering chicks. They also designed and built a large wooden hen house, and learnt to care for the poultry living free-range. They learnt to attend to giving them regular health check. This project produced a product that most people enjoyed eating – eggs, which we also sold to local people.
From this a variety of animals have been brought onto our 8 acre site. The main pasture area is used to run the sheep and pig projects, and we also have 2 alpacas, ducks, geese and turkeys. We have a substantial Polytunnel were we have experimented in growing fruit, salads and vegetables. The site has an old orchard which provides us with cooking apples, pears and plums to make chutneys and jams.
The barns, stables and outbuildings are used as storage and shelter for the one horse and one pony we have. Our pigs are moved into the stables when they have their young. They are all returned to the pasture to live free-range when the piglets are about 6 weeks old.