SURROUNDED BY pigs, goats, owls and peacocks, Dovestone Youth Rangers are really getting to grips with life on the farm…
The group, led by Greg Cookson from Saddleworth Environmental Education (SEE), have recently launched hands first into their new project with Little Owl Farm at Grains Bar.
The small holding is run by John Beck and his partner Cindy Bramhall and is home to 24 animals including donkeys, pigs, goats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, owls and peacocks.
Designed to be a friendly outdoor classroom, it is an ideal setting for the Youth Rangers to learn more about animals, their habits, upkeep and health.
At their first session in December the team got stuck in helping to muck out and clean up, as well as feeding the animals.
Greg said: “We’re delighted to be setting up this partnership. The Youth Rangers will come up to Little Owl Farm on a regular basis to look after the animals.
“They love it already and it’s a great new project for them to add to what they already do to help the community.”
Greg and his hard-working Youth Rangers are busy across Saddleworth with projects including litter picking at Dovestone, clearing Delph Graveyard and tidying gardens in Greenfield.
Sue Rushworth has now joined the team to help Greg at weekends while two other team members help out during the week.
Little Owl Farm opened its doors at the end of 2015 and has had a busy year, including themed events and six weeks of activities over the summer.
Currently, they are hosting craft sessions and a Santa’s Grotto over Christmas, alongside the usual visits to see and feed the animals.
“We have had an amazing year,” said Cindy. “It has been fantastic to meet so many people who are as passionate about the outdoors as we are.
“Having them involved in everything we are trying to achieve is just wonderful and we are already excited to be planning for next year.”