Category Archives: Farming

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.”