The Salvation Army’s Rare Breed Centre at Hadleigh Farm has announced they are extending their opening hours for 2017 ahead of their reopening tomorrow (25 March).
In response to high demand, the popular family attraction will now be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, offering more educational and interactive events over the coming months.
Emma Sayer, The Salvation Army’s Rare Breed Centre Manager, said: “We can’t wait to open our gates to the public for a new season at Hadleigh Farm tomorrow (25 March).
“Not only do we have a new generation of adorable piglets and kid goats, with lambs on the way, but our extended opening hours and exciting events schedule means there are even more opportunities for families to learn about our wonderful rare breed animals and why it’s so important that we look after and protect them.”
Since opening the centre in 2004 The Salvation Army has made a significant contribution to the conservation of rare animals with ten Bagot goats being born so far this year – in their 2016 Watchlist, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) described the Bagot goat as ‘endangered’ with less than 200 registered adult breeding females left in the UK. Last year Hadleigh Farm was officially recognised by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) as a Conservation Farm Park.
Upcoming events include Wool Week and Wildlife Week during the Easter holidays when families will have the opportunity to learn about how wool is processed from sheep to jumper, make their own bug homes for wildlife in their garden and meet local experts such as Southend Spinners & Weavers Guild, the Southend Dormouse Group and Hazel’s Hedgehogs, a local breeder of African Pygmy hedgehogs.
The Easter activities culminate with the annual Easter egg around the farm, using wooden eggs created and decorated by the timber and wellbeing departments at Hadleigh Training Centre.
Hadleigh Training Centre delivers personalised programmes for 172 local people who are facing barriers to employment or have additional support needs. The centre aims to equip trainees with employability skills by offering education and accredited qualifications in vocational areas such as carpentry, catering, horticulture, hospitality, construction, IT and retail.
Upcoming events at Hadleigh Farm
25 March – Rare Breed Centre reopensOpen Mon-Sun, 10am until 5pm, last entry at 4:30pm £4 for adults, £3 for children, children under 36 months old go free
26 March – Mother’s Day, Rare Breed CentreMothers and Grandmothers get free entry into the Rare Breed Centre. It will also be a good opportunity to come and meet all of our new mums and babies.
2–9 April - Wool Week, Rare Breed CentreLearn how wool is processed from sheep to jumper and make your own sheep themed craft to take home. On Sunday 2 April we have a local spinners guild on site
10–16 April - Wildlife Week, Rare Breed CentreCreate your own bug home to take away. On Thursday 13 April meet Hazel's Hedgehogs, a local breeder of African Pygmy hedgehogs and on Sunday 16 April meet the Southend Dormouse Group.
14 April - Good Friday – CLOSED
15 April – Easter Saturday Workshop, The Salvation Army’s Hub Café in Hadleigh Park, Chapel Lane11am and 2pm – each session lasts two hours For children age approx. 4- 9 years £8 per child – all children must be accompanied by an adult Have fun decorating cookies in The Hub Cafe, painting eggs and creating an Easter garden. Take part in the colouring competition, learn about the Easter story and enjoy the ‘Explorer Trail’ in the beautiful surroundings of Hadleigh Park. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.
17 April – Easter Monday Workshop, The Salvation Army’s Tea Rooms on Hadleigh Farm, Castle Lane11am and 2pm – each session lasts two hours For children age approx. 4- 9 years £8 per child – all children must be accompanied by an adult Have fun decorating cookies in the Tea Rooms, painting eggs and creating an Easter garden. Take part in the colouring competition, learn about the Easter story and enjoy an Easter egg hunt around the farm. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.