A splendid Summer at Little Owl Farm

Little Owl Farm

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Well, Summer at Little Owl Farm has officially drawn to a close. My second Summer spent at the farm and I am extremely delighted about that! It’s been an incredible, fun packed few months spent volunteering with my upmost enthusiasm and the best of people who continuously bring me joy and happiness.

It’s been thrilling witnessing Cindy and John swimming in success with the emphasis that all of their hard work, and planning, has paid off as they’ve welcomed many visitors and carried out the best themed days throughout. Creating an enjoyable day for people of all ages. They truly do deserve The World.

Throughout the duration of Summer at the farm, I’ve had the pleasure of making new friends (both animal and human, yay!) aswell as catching up with familiar faces, including the wonderful Lizzie – a kind hearted friend of mine and an extremely talented face painter who often visits the farm to amaze myself and visitors with her dazzling, colourful creations.

https://www.facebook.com/lizziefacepaints/

I simply wouldn’t have opted to spend my time anywhere other than the farm. A place I view as a second home. (Well, I do live with the goats now…) where I am continuously welcomed with a warm embrace, aswell as my trusty wheelbarrow, surrounded with my gorgeous animal friends and the loveliest of people.

It’s been a pleasure resting from my hardworking first year of University down at the farm, expanding my knowledge and working hard to ensure the animals are content and spoiled rotten with abundance’s of love and cuddles. Oh, and the odd banana or two…

Could anybody resist that face?

I did have trouble choosing from my increasing collection of goat photos. Though, you can never have too many. Right? Poppy eternally brightens my day and widens my smile with her cheeky personality and charismatic face.

Countless hours spent travelling to the farm via buses and the treasurable number 407 which remains the most scenic, eminent route where I am dazzled with the most stunning views in Oldham upon my venture to the farm. Every visit is worth the 7:30am set offs where I am guaranteed the most happiness enhancing time where no two days ever replicate each other. The rapture of working with animals!

It’s been an incredible Summer, filled with smiles and hugs and I can only say how eager I am for Summer, 2019, and every day in advance.

Be sure to check out my fabulous friends’ social media for regular updates and the most adorable photos of our furry and feathered friends!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittleOwlFarm/

Instagram: @littleowlfarm

Finding Little Owl Farm, and happiness!

Little Owl Farm

In January 2017 I apprehensively (yet also excitedly) got in touch with Little Owl Farm regarding volunteering after a Google search lead me to their wonderful Facebook page where I proceeded to spend lengths of time scrolling through animal photos and thrilling visitor reviews. I saw only happy, satisfied visitors reflecting upon their enjoyable and pleasant experiences at the farm, so I figured I should try to get involved too.

I recall receiving a speedy reply. I was ecstatic to learn that carrying out work experience at the farm was an opportunity available to me. Cindy got back in touch and informed me that she was “delighted that I wanted to gain experience at Little Owl Farm” – but I doubt anybody could be as delighted as I was!

Even from the email, Cindy seemed incredibly kind and welcoming as she offered to show me around, additionally adding that it would be great to meet me. And I couldn’t wait to meet her either! I felt a sense of hospitality. Meeting Cindy has been the most pleasurable experience that I’m beyond grateful for. I love my friend and her big heart! I was joyful about getting involved, delighted at the concept of making new animal friends too. Though understandably anxious about the new people and surroundings…

Fast forward a month later, during February half term, I leaped out of bed following the ring of my alarm. I ensured to wrap myself up in multiple layers following Mum’s request and according to the weather forecast, I was bound to be in for a chilly (yet thrilling!) adventure.

Putting on my thickest coat and fastening my shoes tightly, I headed on to the bus stop at approximately 7:30am ready for my first bus ride to Manchester. A blanket of snow sitting comfortably on the floor crunching beneath my walking shoes as I eagerly made my way to the stop. Since it was my first time at Little Owl Farm (and in Oldham) I used my phone as a navigator and felt near to Dora The Explorer with the wonderful assistance of Google Maps.

I then hopped onto two more buses and I was well on my way to approaching the farm. I lost my way partially but Cindy quickly came to my rescue when I plucked up the courage to phone as I stood speaking to Winston the Horse.

You came from where?! You travelled how far to find us…?

My first impressions of Little Owl Farm were only positive, as they still remain, as I was shown around and introduced to friendly John and intelligent Izaak and the lovely Naomi, alongside many gorgeous animals. After a cup of tea and a chat in Cindy’s Café! I thought Cindy’s accent was the sweetest thing and I was stoked to tell Mum all about my new Canadian friend. This is the day where I met Poppy and Mary-Jane! A major highlight of my experience at the farm has been becoming friends with my two girls. I was also given information about the activities held at the farm, such as themed days and crafts.

My only disappointment was that I hadn’t found this gem sooner!

My first time at Little Owl Farm involved the heartwarming opportunity of assisting in saving the most beautiful Duckling. She was incredibly tiny and fluffy with a sky high cute factor. Bright yellow and beautiful like a ray of sunshine. We had her wrapped up in a towel by a heater in the Cafe, encouraging her to have a bite to eat. She regained her strength and fought to health. The text from Cindy later on in the evening confirming that warmed my heart massively, especially as I was also asked to name her.

Meet Mabel. The name I chose with the Latin definition: “beautiful, loving and loveable.” Clearly a name that was well suited to my fluffy friend.

Since it was my first time at the farm, I stayed for a few hours before heading back home after the completion of some daily farm jobs, uncountable photos and animal cuddles later. Since I hadn’t taken the bus route home before, I wanted to ensure I travelled home safely and I knew that once I had taken the route once, I would be fine the next time and all the times following.

And this is how my time at Little Owl Farm began. An email and a bus journey lead me to making the most incredible friends. Almost 18-months-later and I can confidently say that my love for the farm increases every time I go, as does my happiness! I’m incredibly grateful to have my happy place, a place where I’m accepted for my goat obsession and smiley face, also filled with the best people and animals and volunteering there fills me with so much joy.

Farm fun with my farmyard friends

Little Owl Farm

A little insight into a day of Volunteering at Little Owl Farm. Though, no two days are ever the same which makes it all the more enjoyable!

Today, the sun was shining and my day was filled with Goat cuddles and wheelbarrow pushing as I enjoyed another day at the farm – my happy place. Soon, Cindy and John will have to build me my own pen because I love it there that much. Or I could just live with the Goats…

I certainly feel like I’m coming out of my shell more (hey, look! I’m a tortoise now) in terms of a boost in confidence and the ability to speak to people and my animal friends aid me in doing so. I’ll say this a thousand times and more: finding Little Owl Farm was the BEST thing to ever happen to me. Whenever I go, I feel on top of the world and whenever I leave, my heart is filled with so much love.

Today started off as a freezing day (typical British weather) so I wrapped up accordingly. But then to my surprise it warmed up in the upcoming hours. Again, typical British weather – unpredictable. I tied up my shoes and went on along to the bus stop, ready for my journey to the farm.

Buses. Unpredictable. A theme’s going on here, right? Arriving later than expected, impacting my entire bus route and valuable goat time – not cool.

Fast forward a couple of hours, 3 bus drives later (I’m not crazy, I swear) and YAY! I hopped off the bus, which is always filled with older people, equaling a peaceful ride with stunning views and most importantly, no screaming kids. Heaven! I soon found myself walking down the path, ready to be greeted with John and Cindy hugs (the best kind). Another highlight in my day, having such wonderful, caring people in my life who always seem delighted to see me. I love that!

Being at the farm in the company of such wonderful, jolly people and the most beautiful animals warms my heart massively and fills me with joy and contentment. Spending time outdoors and with my friends makes the journey worth it every time. It’s there that I feel free and uplifted as I gain an escape from everything bad in the world, and in my own mind.

Cuddles with Poppy and Mary-Jane are always my favourite part of the day. (just look at how adorable they are!) It’s difficult not to be absorbed into their cheeky, loving personalities and kind, gentle souls. It’s seemingly impossible to be sad when in the presence of animals who create a shield between myself and negativity.

I also gave them a brush too. Well, to begin with Poppy kept standing on me whilst attempting to brush Mary-Jane, so it turned into a cuddle session which I can’t complain about. But I was soon successful.

Most of the farmyard friends enjoyed some banana today. I must remember to take more supplies next time! I was thrilled seeing them nibbling away happily so I had to record it, of course. The Rabbits were so graceful compared to the Goats who would’ve ate my hand if I let them. (Ha ha!)

The cleaning of the Duck houses, something I weirdly enjoy due to the fulfillment of seeing a spotless space afterwards. If only it stayed that way! I always feel accomplished afterwards. It kept me very busy and made the Ducks content too. Who knew removing substrate and replacing it for new could be so fun?

Ella the Lamb arrived! Coming from a local area and a lady named Hannah. Ella had been hand-reared and therefore developed a strong attachment to Humans, not so much a part of the herd. She follows people around everywhere because she’s the most comfortable with them, she’s gotten used to their behaviours. A requirement for extra love and attention meant she definitely suited a new home at Little Owl Farm with her new Sheep friends where she’ll continue to be spoiled rotten. She had a wander around her new home, eagerly, and was then placed with the others, I’m sure they’ll soon take her under their wing as Ella thrives and grows comfortable being with the others in the next chapter of her life.

With the addition of chatting to visitors, playing with the goat kids and filling up the water bowls/buckets, that was my day complete. It’s crazy how quickly time goes when I’m at the farm. Though the saying goes “time goes by when you’re having fun” and every day at the farm is certainly that.

And off I went on my journey, heading home after another beautiful, memorable day! Saying my good bye’s to my animal friends, Cindy and John is always the hardest part which leaves me counting down until I’m back again. But, all the hugs makes it that much easier.

I’m very thankful to be able to volunteer at Little Owl Farm, and for always being welcomed back with a warm embrace and big smile!