Celebrations as LOVE Gorgie Farm set to open on Saturday

Left to right - Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE learning, Garry Hutton, Director of Care and Kim Flower, LOVE Learning Trustee.

Celebrations as LOVE Gorgie Farm set to open on Saturday

LOVE Gorgie Farm, formerly Gorgie City Farm, is set to open this Saturday (29th February) with a huge celebration and range of family-friendly activities.

A number of local celebrities including Hearts and Hibs footballers, Edinburgh and Scotland rugby players, politicians and Council representatives will also be attending the festivities.

From 11am-3.30pm children (and even adults!) will get the chance to feed the animals on the farm, which include pigs, sheep and goats, and can even take some newly arrived  alpacas for a stroll.

There will also be face-painting and a henna tattooist on hand, as well as entertainment for all, including tombola, music, a photo booth and much more.

Education and social care charity, LOVE Learning, took over the site of the former Gorgie City Farm in January after it went into liquidation in November 2019.

LOVE Learning has also organised a community consultation event, from 12pm-2pm, where visitors can tell the new operators about their hopes for the future of the urban farm.

The farm has been opened earlier than expected thanks to the assistance of hundreds of volunteers who assisted in the two weeks running up to the reopening.

After the site opens its doors to the public it will remain open seven days a week and will be free for visitors. LOVE Learning intends to keep using the site as an urban farm as part of its portfolio of environmental projects.

In addition, LOVE Gorgie Farm provides educational services to children through animal and forest therapy. It also provides a range of professional apprenticeships and Scottish Qualifications Authority awarded qualifications, as well as looking to be involved in organising social prescribing and wellbeing therapies in partnership with the NHS in the future.

Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE Learning said:

“We are incredibly excited to be opening LOVE Gorgie Farm much earlier than we expected and are hoping for a great turnout on Saturday. This will also provide the chance through our consultation exercise for the local community to provide its views on what people would like to see the farm used for in the future.

“I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have given up their valuable time to help get the farm up and running earlier than anticipated. We could not have done it without their crucial role.

“Not only will the farm remain open seven days a week and remain free, but we will provide a range of exciting education, environmental and social care programmes supporting vulnerable individuals.”

Ann Budge, owner of Heart of Midlothian Football Club which has worked closely with the farm over the years said:

“We are delighted to see the farm reopening as LOVE Gorgie Farm and look forward to establishing a positive relationship with LOVE Learning as the new operators. Like Hearts, the farm is at the very heart of the local community and we look forward to working with them.”

Sandy McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Detective Agency and 44 Scotland Street books, among others, said:

“I am aware of the major role that Gorgie City Farm, now LOVE Gorgie Farm, plays in the local community. It is wonderful news that it has been rescued. It brings animals and the countryside into the lives of so many children, young people and adults, who might otherwise feel cut off from such things. Put simply, LOVE Gorgie Farm does a great deal of good.”

—ENDS —

About LOVE Gorgie Farm

LOVE Gorgie Farm, on the site of the former Gorgie City Farm, is located in the heart of Edinburgh.

This urban farm is operated by education and social care charity, LOVE Learning, following its takeover of the site in 2020. The charity seeks to improve the education and life chances of vulnerable children, young people and adults.

LOVE Gorgie Farm is an important resource which will support these aims. It will remain open seven days a week and will be free for visitors, providing a range of exciting education, environmental and social care programmes.

Its education centre provides education services to children and young people, including animal and forest therapy, and it engages with local communities on environmental programmes around farming and food production.

LOVE Gorgie Farm also has a food bank and social enterprise café, which helps it to engage further with the community.

It also provides a range of professional apprenticeships and Scottish Qualifications Authority accredited programmes within its newly established skills academy.

In the future LOVE Gorgie Farm will also provide social prescribing and wellbeing therapies in partnership with the NHS, mental health and holistic therapies, and employability projects.

For further information please go to www.gorgiecityfarm.org.uk.

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