Category Archives: Farming

High-tech app helps rescue cow

Cow rescue Thorney 14 April 2019

Firefighters rescued a cow from the River Nene in Thorney on Sunday, using a new mobile phone app to locate the farmer and the stranded animal.

The ‘app’ called what3words is accurate to three metres and still works in areas where there isn’t a reliable data signal.

To help crews get to the right location along the river near Old Knarr Fen Drove, Fire Control used the location app to pinpoint the caller and the calf. The location was relayed to crews to ensure they arrived in the correct location as quickly as possible.

Crews from Dogsthorpe, Stanground and Wisbech arrived to find a calf stuck on the riverbank. Working alongside the farmer, firefighters wearing in-water gear, secured the calf using strops, a winch and teleporter.

The calf was released and left in the care on the farmer and a vet.

The app is free to download and works with both iOS and Android phones and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue is keen for more people to use it.

Station Commander (Control) Clare Smith commented, “Our emergency call handlers are now able to respond to calls where a three-word address is used.

“The new way of identifying precise locations complements the systems we already have in place and can save time when mobilising crews to incidents, where every second counts.

“What3words is a great app and is definitely worth having on your devices, should you ever need it in an emergency.

“Emergencies can happen anywhere, from a road collision in the middle of the countryside, to someone in trouble in a river, to an incident outside a shopping centre, which could have a number of different entrances. In these situations, identifying precisely where help is needed is critical – and this can be near impossible if you are in an area with no address or if that address isn’t good enough to describe exactly where you are.

“Even in a well-addressed town or city, if a caller is in distress they may not be familiar with their surroundings, or able to share a location with accuracy – for example, the description “near Cambridge” will not help emergency services to get to the right place.

“It’s free, it’s simple to use, and one day it might make sure you get the help you need, when you need it.”

We will sort Open Sunday traffic problems, promise organisers

Park farm 2018 - General grounds

Michael Sly, organiser of Open Farm Weekend at Park Farm, Thorney has promised to revamp traffic management for next year’s event.

Beautiful sunny weather for this year’s event attracted record crowds of 12,500, with 7,500 coming on the Sunday.

“We’re really sorry for the problems caused to people, especially those along Sandpit Road,” said Michael.

“I think the good weather persuaded more people to come and a third of them arrived in the first hour.”

Traffic was backed up through the village, causing many people to remember the old pre-bypass days when Thorney was gridlocked at weekends by traffic heading for the coast.

“We have looked at traffic management and will make some changes for next year,” said Michael. “Instead of entering along Sandpit Road, we’ll bring them in through Old Knarr Fen Road. This will mean non-village traffic can come along the bypass, come off at the New Cut roundabout and they won’t touch the village itself.

“We’ll use Sandpit Road as the exit, but people tend to leave in a steady stream, rather than all at once, so traffic will be more spread out. We’ll also have more stewards in the car park to help people park more quickly.

“I want to thank everyone for their positive messages and especially the police, Newborough Young Farmers and our stewards who worked really hard.”

The Park Farm weekend is now the largest Open Farm event in the country. The scheme, run by the National Farmers’ Union, aims to help educate people about how our food is grown.

Michael says he wanted to create a family day out that would leave happy memories and present a positive view of rural Britain. As well as a showcase for farming old and new, the event is also a massive charity fundraiser.

Lots of charities have stalls at the event and this year at least £8,000 was raised. Peterborough farm Machinery Preservation Society raised £3,000, Air Ambulance £1,297, Leaf £1,141, King’s School £1,000, Sue Ryder £500. Thorney Colts £383, Something for the Solomons £277 and Thorney Youth Project £201.

Next year’s event will be on June 8 and 9.

New role for Pigeons Farm

Pigeons Farm is to become a centre for children and young adults with learning difficulties.

Planning permission for the new project was approved this week by Peterborough City Council.

Pigeons Farm, on Wisbech Road, just east of the village, was a popular venue for families, with animals, play equipment and a cafe. It closed last autumn when the owners Linda and Bob Moore retired.

Animals were all found homes, with many going to Rutland Farm Park near Oakham.

The new centre will be run by the Kisimul Group, an organisation that provides education and care services to children and young adults with complex learning difficulties, including challenging behaviour and autism.

They will convert existing farm buildings into specialist educational facilities, including classrooms and workshops.

Kisimul has four other schools, two in Lincolnshire, one in Surrey and one in Shropshire.

It is likely Pigeons Farm will offer animal and horticultural based learning programmes, including gardening and animal husbandry .

There will be about 20 pupils at the site with an equivalent number of teachers and support staff.

Planning approval has also been given for three holiday lodges on the existing camping and caravan site. These will provide short-term holiday accommodation for the parents and families of Kisimul Group residents.

The application stated: “Emphasis is placed upon providing a stimulating and rich environment, including such activities as horse riding, cinema and ten-pin bowling as well as outings to zoos, theme parks and theatres.”