Cogges opens for the new season tomorrow

March 30th, 2012 by J-P Leave a reply »

Cogges Farm is opening Saturday 31 March: that’s tomorrow! The attractions available include the working farm site, a petting area, the manor house and a beautiful newly refurbished coffee shop. And most importantly, this season they’ve got animals! Here’s some footage of the rabbits and piglets:

… but there are also sheep, pygmy goats, chickens, ducks and guinea pigs.

Many of the larger animals are kindly donated by the RSPCA and Foxbury Farm (in fact, Colin the farmer might well turn up tomorrow!) When Cogges had to close in 2009, the animals had to be rehomed; and last summer, the charitable trust that took over Cogges (Cogges Heritage Trust) had limited time to prepare for opening, so animals are only now returning to Cogges.

Director Colin Shone has said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have animals at Cogges again and we’re grateful to our friends at Foxbury Farm for helping to make this possible. The chickens have been used to having the place to themselves so we’ll have to see how they react!” Laura Staniec, the operations manager, added that: “Lots of people have been asking when Cogges is going to have animals again, so we’re expecting 31st March to be a very busy day. It will be a great start to our new season.”

It’s great to see the animals coming back, but besides animals there’s been a tremendous amount of work in the walled garden and generally around the site. The woodlands down by the sheep and the river are now tidied and ready for visitors; the walled garden is looking amazing, as over two dozen volunteers have been working bringing it back from seed and turning it into a fully working Victorian vegetable garden. Cogges’ major themes include sustainable and local food production, and the importance of animal welfare for livestock and pets.

The farm is open from 10am on Saturday, and then Sunday, and then 10-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, all the way to a bonfire event in early November. You can follow them on Twitter at @CoggesWitney and they’re also on Facebook.

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