Farmer boldly turns back clock

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A FARM in Thorpe Underwood, near Whixley has decided to turn back time and go back to the old days of traditional farming.

Farmer Steve Newlove, 31, of Thorpe Hill Farm decided to auction off all his modern equipment in June and replace it with vintage machinery to set up a vintage working farm that opens its doors to the public tomorrow.

Thorpe Hill Open Working Farm will give visitors a taste of rural life as it used to be, as well as offering more up to date activities including a Maize Maze, Water Wars and a Quad Bike Rollercoaster. Widely featured in the press and TV, Steve’s story was shown on last Sunday’s BBC Countryfile programme.

The idea for the working farm came about after Steve and his widowed mother, Joan needed to diversify when five years ago, a business which paid them to fatten pigs, collapsed. The pair hope the gamble has paid off as Thorpe Hill’s new journey begins.

“The aim is to create a day out everyone can enjoy and welcome people to join us as we turn back the clock and become self-sufficient using only hand-drawn and hand-operated equipment.”

Education is at the heart of the project with school visits encouraged and there are further plans for a cafe, shop, education suites and an indoor activity centre due to be completed by early 2012.

“This is going to be an educational venture that reaches out to all ages, from nursery children who want to come and see the baby lambs to adults who are keen to get their hands dirty and learn traditional skills,” said Steve.

“Most people who live in the countryside today have moved here for lifestyle reasons and have no experience of farming and that’s something I’d like to help change.”

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “This is a terrific project which is guaranteed to give visitors of all ages a taste of the countryside and of rural life. We believe it will be a fantastic addition to the wealth of attractions we have to offer visitors to Yorkshire.”

l Admission to the Farm is £6 with Adventurer Admission priced at £8.50. Open daily from 10am till 7pm, for more details, visit www.thorpehillfarm.co.uk