As many of our regular visitors will have noticed, Pets Corner has been undergoing refurbishment works for several months now. We are in the process of redeveloping our small animal enclosures to improve them for both our animals and visitors.

Earlier this summer, we moved our small animals to their temporary enclosures and stripped out the fencing and supports of the previous enclosures. Since then we’ve laid new flooring, constructed new supports and a new roof that lets the light in, but keeps the rain out. This work was only made possible by the help of staff, volunteers and corporate volunteer groups. We’ve been working on creating cladding for the walls of the enclosures by upcycling the wood from wooden pallets. Progress has been steady until now, but has now slowed as a result of a recent incident. Two weeks ago, we were victims of a break-in, with the thieves stealing all of our power tools. This represents a significant setback to the Pets Corner project as well as other important jobs around the farm.

We still need more wooden pallets to complete the project.

We still need more wooden pallets to complete the project.

We would love to be able to resume work as soon as possible, but can’t do so without your help. We urgently appeal to you for any spare power tools, particularly those which were stolen from the farm, including:

  • cordless drills
  • angle grinder
  • belt sander
  • mitre saw
  • reciprocating saw

We would greatly appreciate your help. Alternatively, if you can volunteer your building expertise, loan us tools, or donate your time or that of your team, please let us know. We are also still looking for wooden pallets to upcycle into cladding for Pets Corner. If you might be able to help or know someone who can, please get in touch with us via email to farm@mudchute.org.


A fully feathered, confident hen!

A fully feathered, confident hen!

In early September, we welcomed a group of ex-battery hens to our flock. They were leaving behind a life in cages, and needed to adjust to free-range life! Just over a month on, they have put on muscle weight, grown bright new feathers and are filled with confidence. We look forward to introducing them to the rest of our flock in due time, but are thrilled with the girls’ progress so far.


Our team of volunteers removed huge quantities of vegetation!

Our team of volunteers removed huge quantities of vegetation!

On Monday, October 7th, we put on our waterproofs and waders to get stuck in with Froglife in our Dragon Finder volunteer session. The session was all about tidying up our ponds to help improve these habitats for the amphibians and other wildlife that breed in them.

Rakes were used to remove invasive Canadian waterweed (Elodea canadensis) and carefully separating native Rigid Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) which is beneficial to native aquatic life. The surface of the pond was thick with Duckweed (Lemna minuta) a problematic plant of many a garden pond. In optimum conditions Duckweed can double in quantity every few days, forming a thick blanket that prevents light getting into the water. This is exactly what had happened in the Mudchute pond. Luckily Froglife had a creative remedy- net stockings stuffed with straw, which were then carefully drawn over the surface of the water (a bit like skimming a winter broth).

The day was a great success thanks to Froglife and Mudchute’s two long term volunteers Tommy and June. The clear out was done ahead of a big restoration project that is due to commence this week, so we’ll be looking for more volunteers to take part in a spring time planting day on the ponds margins.