Little Al’s Urban Farm is a community farm located in Eastham. The staff there work to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for the local community. birkenhead.news spoke to the farm’s Donna Grundy about the work they do and the problems the farm is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donna said, “Our target visitors are the local community and we have always had a good link with Autism Together and have many visitors with physical and mental disabilities.”
Eastham Nurseries, where the farm is based, was purchased by the current owners in 2015. The new owner introduced a few chickens to the nursery and from that, the idea of an urban farm was born.
Over the last six years, the farm has developed and increased the number and types of animals. Donna told us, “The majority of the animals we have are rescue animals.”
“It still amazes me how many children have never seen a real sheep or pig up close.”, she added.
The farm and nursery are currently operated by 2 members of staff. Donna said, “We also employ two farm helpers who have learning difficulties and have work experience students from local schools and also from the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.”
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers have been unable to help out and the farm has remained closed to visitors, cutting off all-important income that goes towards the upkeep of the farm and animals.
Between the COVID-19 restrictions and the European outbreak of bird flu in October 202, visitors to Little Al’s Urban Farm have been non-existent, Donna told us.
“Yet, we have kept the farm going,” she said. “We have still made sure the animals have all they need and made all the alterations that the council has insisted on.
“We do not receive any grants or help in any way and yet our aim is the keep the farm free for the local community.”
As the farm hasn’t been able to have any visitors, volunteers, or work experience on-site since the start of the pandemic, they have decided to launch a JustGiving fundraser to help towards covering the cost of animal feed, vet check-ups, and other essential work needed to keep the animals safe. Donna told us, “Any money raised will help with this and hopefully we can still be here when we are allowed to welcome back our visitors.”
Donna concluded by saying, “We want to be able to keep the farm free for everyone to enjoy. We hope to continue providing a safe environment for our animals to live happy lives and the local community a place that is free to visit. We want to continue to provide work experience places for future generations and work opportunities for those deemed unemployable.”
If you would like to make a donation to help ensure the future of the farm, you can do so here.
Littla Al’s Urban farm has a Facebook page, where you can keep updated on the latest news.