Kirkstall Valley: People-powered farm captures imaginations over summer

kirkstall valley farm
Kirkstall Valley Farm is community led

Kirkstall Valley Farm has been very busy lately since lockdown measures were reduced, writes Ramona Green.

Family activities were being run there up until the 5th of this month when sadly, it
had to be cancelled due to a spike in local cases in Kirkstall.

These activities subsequently only ran for two weeks and were dependent upon weather but many children enjoyed themselves, along with their parents and guardians.

KVDT (Kirkstall Valley Development Trust), who are leasing the farm, had small circus
performances, mini-games, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts etc for the families.

There was also a light lunch provided including fresh fruit and veg, mostly grown on the farm itself.

As for the farming side of things, there will be a farm open weekend on the 14th – 16th of this month to give those people who are interested in what plans have been drawn up and organised to get more involved and see hands-on what will be happening.

They start at 6pm on Friday and then 10am, 1pm and 3pm on Saturday amd Sunday. The farm is based just off Kirkstall Road, behind the Ready Steady Store storage facility.

Roger Plumtree, the farm’s Project Lead said that because it is a farm and covers wide open spaces, social distancing is so much easier than at other projects.

There are still plans for events, depending on updated government guidelines, for late summer and early autumn.

Roger wants the farm to be known as the “local social space” to go to for safe outdoor activities and which will also assist in combating some of the mental
and physical health difficulties of local people, felt especially so at a time like this.

Another idea is to reach out to local businesses like bars, entertainment venues and charities for example and suggest co-hosting events with Kirkstall Valley Farm.

This way the local businesses still get to keep revenue and employment up while still
keeping to the government’s guidelines and the farm gets more publicity.

Now, with the current easing of restrictions, workshops are another idea that is being readdressed from previous meetings and conversations.

Part of that could be “community built structures” where local individuals or small groups help to assemble temporary structures on the farm and learn new skills while doing so.

Roger also told me that a farm grower will be employed from around December to April 2021 which is very exciting and the chosen applicant will be bringing a whole host of skills and experience with them.

The farm has also secured some polytunnels from a place in Horsforth and will be needing volunteers to assist in disassembling, transporting and reassembling them again at the farm.

Anyone who is interested in helping with this or wanting more details,
contact Roger Plumtree, Farm Project Lead, on

Please contact Roger on the e-mail above if you have any queries
regarding updated government guidelines.


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