Surrey Docks Farm and an East Dulwich estate are set to benefit from nearly £100,000 in grants from the Veolia Environment Trust.
The generous donations will help keep the inner-city Rotherhithe farm afloat in trying financial times and also provide a new sports area for the Kingswood Estate.
Earlier this year, the Surrey Docks Farm issued a plea to News readers for donations to help ‘save their bacon’, after Southwark Council made a 25 per cent cut to their grant.
The new £61,245 donation from Veolia will now go some way in keeping them afloat, with valuable funds available to “enhance the visitor experience, increase opportunities for all to learn about farming, and raise hygiene, recycling and animal welfare standards.”
A circular path around the site, an education trail and a new pig-house will be created, while worn out fences will be replaced. The muckheap, which currently prevents visitors from walking around the entire edge of the farm, will also be re-sited and upgrade.
Farm Manager, Gemma Hooper said: “The funding will open up a previously inaccessible area of the farm to the public. We welcome over 50,000 visitors and hundreds of school groups a year who will all benefit from a fun and educational visitor facility. The new pig house will be fully accessible, enabling our training projects for adults with learning disabilities to safely interact with, care for and learn about our animals.”
A £38,020 grant has also been awarded to the Kingswood TRA, with plans in place to create a new fenced-off sports area for the Dulwich estate.
The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, says, “This new MUGA [Multi Use Game Area] and the improvements to the farm will make a real difference to the community of Southwark. With the increasing reduction in the amount of funds that we can award, these two organisations need to be congratulated on securing their grants in an extremely competitive environment.”