It is very much a Huddersfield success story.
And at the weekend, more than 200 people turned up at Stirley Community Farm in Berry Brow to celebrate their annual open day.
The farm which is managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is being restored back to a fully operational, sustainable farm that is open to the public, helping to reconnect the local community with the land.
Since taking on the 100 hectare farm in late 2009, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has run many events, but the annual open day is the big event of the season, now in its third year. Every year it has got bigger and better, with this year seeing the opening of the newly renovated ‘Cre8 Barn’ which is to become an education centre for use by the farm and local community.
Local caterers, The Gingerbread House, used the newly installed kitchen in the barn to provide refreshments for visitors serving up fresh salads harvested from Stirley’s veg garden that day.
Salted beef wraps were also on offer, a glimpse of what will be available in coming years at the farm now that a Beef Shorthorn herd is in place there.
Families took part in a number of classic games including welly wanging, a farm-themed coconut shy using potatoes and giant Jenga as well as many others. There were also talks on the build of the barn, which has been designed to ensure very low energy usage and another on the farm machinery.
The Trust’s Chief Executive Rob Stoneman spoke about the progress of the farm and The Veolia Environmental Trust’s Chief Executive Paul Taylor talked about funding for the barn renovation.
Dr Stoneman said: “This is a great day for Stirley Community Farm, which in the past couple of years has grown from strength to strength.
“The opening of the Cre8 Barn is a true milestone in Stirley’s history – to renovate what was a tumbling down and abandoned barn into a fully functioning community hub that will be used to teach local children and groups about harvesting and preparing locally grown, fresh, healthy food amongst other things is remarkable.
“Huge thanks must go to all the local volunteers and trainees, our funders from The Veolia Environmental Trust and the farm’s staff, whose hard work made it possible.”