Surrey Docks Farm
The farm works with local communities and the people of Southwark to provide opportunities for people to learn about farming and food production, and to be actively involved in the ongoing work of the farm. Animals reared on the farm include a herd of goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, bees and donkeys. The herds and flocks are farmed with specific attention to animal welfare. There are a variety of green and horticultural areas such as the orchard, herb garden, dye garden, vegetable plots, and the wild area. Fresh food and produce are on sale to the public. Other facilities include a bee room, café, working blacksmith’s forge and adult education rooms. There is a fully equipped classroom used by schools from across London.
The farm is managed by the Surrey Docks Farm Provident Society Ltd, a tax exempt charitable organisation registered with the Financial Services Authority, and with HM Revenue & Customs (registration number 22829R). Current patrons of the Society include the Bishop of Southwark and Simon Hughes MP. The Society particularly encourages membership applications from local people to ensure that they are at the forefront of what is essentially a local community project. Committee members of the Provident Society are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
The farm was first established in 1975 on a 1.5-acre (6,100 m2) site of derelict dockland between the entrance to Greenland Dock and the River Thames. Its initial purpose was to try and raise livestock and produce food from what was regarded as wasteland. In April 1980 the Farm registered as a Provident Society. In June 1986 the farm was re-located to its present site, a new 2.2-acre (8,900 m2) site on the river Thames at South Wharf. During the working lifetime of the docks the site formed part of the largest shipyard on the Rotherhithe peninsula.
For the last few years of his life until June 2011, the farm was managed by local campaigner Barry Mason.
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