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Hello everyone,

Greetings from a rather wet Stowfield, the weather has not been good and it doesn’t feel like summer. The sheep were shorn of their wool a few weeks ago and I hear that most of them would quite like it back! We goats don’t mind the rain just as long as there are still visitors to spoil us. We love it when visitors come and we get let out to follow them around the site. So many new flowers to chew and it’s wonderful how excited some of them get to see us up close. If you’ve never cuddled a lamb or a baby goat you should come along and try it. All the animals on the smallholding like meeting people, especially Millie the pig. They say Millie is very rare, rarer than giant pandas (whatever they are). I don’t know about rare but she is very friendly and loves a good scratch and a handful of pig nuts.

Some people who haven’t been getting many treats are the staff, who have been on a sponsored diet to raise funds for the Orchard Trust. Between them they have lost over eight and a half stones since January and have raised hundreds of pounds for the Trust to help their work with people in the community.

There is going to be a big Summer Fete in July, when everyone is invited to come and meet us and see the work that the Trust does. There will be live music, entertainment and lots of stalls including a barbecue and a bar (whatever that is). The staff are busy getting things ready and I think I’m going to have my own place in the new encounter barn, but I might have to share it with the sheep. The small animals like the rabbits and the guinea pigs will have their own place too (they call it the Rabbitarium, which is a bit posh).

If you’d like to help the trust there are loads of different ways to do so. Please get in touch and we’ll show you how.