green flag small

Mudchute Park and Farm is one of the best in the country

Keep Britain Tidy announces a record-breaking number of award-winning parks and green spaces for 2013.

Mudchute Park and Farm is one of the very best in the UK – and that’s official. The green space is among a record-breaking 1,447 parks and green spaces that will today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award.

The national award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Margaret Tracey the farm’s director said “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for first time.This Award recognises and highlights that people in Tower Hamlets are benefiting from a green space of the very highest quality.”

The record number of awards across the country means more people than ever before will have access to well-managed, quality green space, which is vital to people’s health and well-being.


32

This summer we hosted our first wildlife fair. The day started as it meant to go on with blazing sunshine, enticing visitors onto the field. Each organisation brought information or an activity highlighting wildlife and environmental issues. People’s Trust of Endangered Species had a table dedicated to the hedgehog, children mixed goody bags full of mealy worms, seeds and raisins. These were then taken home to be left out for our prickly friends. London Wildlife Trust captivated our visitors with owl pellet dissection, tiny mouse bones were scattered over their table. Women’s Environment Network engaged the public in seed sowing activities, whilst sharing information about the work they do. LBTH Sustainable Development Team brought energy saving light bulbs and information on how to save electric energy. They also hosted a series of very popular pond dipping activities. Winterton House Organic Garden had an information stall that detailed the work they do, well worth a visit. Horniman Museum and Gardens came prepared with lots of bug hunting apparatus and the children found a plethora of wiggly and creepy little crawlies (my favorite was the Devil’s coach horse beetle). Our own Mudchute stall was appropriately covered in mud as children made seed bombs to be planted all over Tower Hamlets.

Thank you to all the organisations involved and to the visitors who made the day a great success. It was a great day that we will turn into an annual event.


Our new ex-battery hens settling in.

Our new ex-battery hens settling into life at the farm.

Last Sunday, we welcomed six new hens to the farm. We’re proud to be rehoming these birds, who might otherwise been sent to slaughter. The newcomers are ex-battery hens who made their way to us through the British Hen Welfare Trust and Foal Farm Animal Sanctuary through their hen rehoming scheme.

Our new hens are just a 6 of the 60,000 rescued by the British Hen Welfare Trust.

Our new hens are just a 6 of the 60,000 rescued by the British Hen Welfare Trust each year.

On Sunday, we went to Foal Farm Animal Sanctuary, where the hens arrived by truck from the farms, loaded into crates. The hens were unloaded, then given their medical checks, before we were able to bring them back home to Mudchute.

As battery hens, they have lived all of their lives until now in battery cages. We think they are about 17 months old, the age at which their egg production decreases and at which they are typically sent to slaughter. After a lifetime spent indoors, starting a new life with us at Mudchute means a lot of changes. The birds need to relearn how to act like chickens and adjust to life outdoors, which is filled with new experiences. The hens are already scratching for food and showing normal, natural behaviour. You may also notice they have large and floppy combs, an adaptation to losing heat in the cramped, hot conditions within cages. These should reduce in size and brighten as they birds settle.

As they adjust to life at Mudchute, our new hens are being kept apart from the rest of our flock. Over the coming weeks they will be building up their strength and confidence. They are also being fed a special diet to help them put on muscle and regrow their feathers. We look forward to watching them settle in over the weeks and months to come. We’ll keep you updated on their progress here on the blog!