Bridge Farm, Lincolnshire
Bridge farm is situated in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside in the low carr land adjacent to the New River Ancholme and comprises 37 acres of mainly grassland. It dates back to at least 1800 and in more recent times the old barns have been converted into a milking parlour and dairy. Energy use on the farm has been reduced by installation of a ground source heat pump and solarPV array for space and water heating, rainwater collection tanks to meet livestock needs and permaculture techniques minimise mains water use.
Our small herd of Golden Guernsey goats produce the creamy milk used in our cheesemaking courses. Barney and Fred the Kune Kune pigs, 3 Dexter cows, chickens, Muscovy ducks and Embden x Toulouse geese complete the livestock. Our fresh organic vegetables are sold direct to customers through a local farmers' market.
Wildlife and historical interest
The extensive grassland provides habitat for a wide range of farmland birds, including lapwing, skylark, grey partridge, linnet and songthrush, and a food resource for barn owls nesting nearby. The proximity of the river attracts such birds as kingfisher, reed bunting, reed and sedge warblers and several dabbling and diving duck species.
We have planted native trees, replanted hedgerows which had been grubbed out years ago, laid hedges, created a large wildlife pond, planted a willow bed to provide materials for our willow courses and an acre of community orchard. All of these have enhanced the food and habitat resource for our birds, insects and small mammals. Since 2010 southern marsh and common spotted orchids have been found in our community orchard.
The New River Ancholme was dug out in the mid-17th century as a means of improving the drainage of the carr lands. In the mid-18th century Harlam Lock was built and the river continued to be used for transport. In recent years the Lock has been refurbished for use by boats and recreation.
Education and visits
We run day courses in a range of rural skills, including cheesemaking, smallholding, willow weaving, basket making and conservation techniques.
We encourage group visits to help everyone learn about and enjoy the richness of the countryside and understand how the best food is produced.
How to get there
By train: Market Rasen station is 8 miles. Scunthorpe station is 15 miles.
By road: Bridge Farm is situated 5 miles east of the A15, 1½ miles east of the village of Snitterby, and right on the west bank of the New River Ancholme.
By bike: Find your route on the Sustrans website