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Minutes from Director’s Meeting 7th September 2018

Board meeting
7th September 2018

Matters arising:
The summer holidays have been very busy at the farm with lots of very well
attended children’s activities, a successful summer event, a bustling café and
shop, and plenty of new visitors to the farm. We hope to build on and learn from
this experience and want to thank staff and volunteers for all the hard work they
have put in and all our visitors for supporting the farm.

The board have agreed to host a wedding reception at the farm in May next year
but will not take any other bookings of this nature between now and then.
The board agreed to the installation of security bollards and a speed bump at the
entrance to the farm. The board also discussed actions to mitigate street parking
during our events in order to reduce the inconvenience to neighbours.
Reports:

Finances.
At the current time the farm’s financial position is significantly improved from this
time last year with the café and shop in profit and contributing to the overall
running costs of the farm. The farm’s financial year ends on 30 th September and
the board will take that opportunity to assess the first full year of trading in the
café and shop.

Growing
Our growing team has begun planning for next year and growing plants with a
view to expanding our range of products in the shop to include garden bedding
and other plants. Over the winter the kid’s club polytunnel will be repurposed for
growing and the kids activities will be moved into the main Wareing shed.

Cafe
Our new café manager Mark has been getting to grips with the project and
following a busy summer, planning has begun in earnest for a series of Autumn
evening events and Christmas meals and events.

Shop
Our bread supplied by local baker “The Muffin Man” has been a big hit in the
shop and we are pleased to be supporting another local business. Christmas
planning has already begun with a range of new products, Christmas food and
gift ideas due to hit the shelves in November.
We have reviewed some of our procedures relating to packaging of delicatessen
items and we are continually striving to improve on how the shop and farm as a whole operate.

Woodlands
The farm will be hosting an “Apple Day” on October 20 th to celebrate apples and
orchards and give people an opportunity to explore some of the less well known
parts of the farm. Visitors to the woodland will have noticed the creation of a
woodchip path running almost the length of the woodland. This is largely the
work of students from West Lancs College, who we will be welcoming back this
term.

Animals
Upgrading of the hen fencelines is well under way.
The pigs should be ready for slaughter at Christmas and as in previous years two
will be slaughtered then, with the remaining two kept until February/March.

Kids activities
The summer holiday kids activities have been very successful and there are
plans to continue these opportunities into September with ‘farmer for a day’
sessions running once a month and the return of Kids Club on a Wednesday and
Toddler Club on Tuesdays.

Events
In addition to the apple day on 20 th October we will be holding our Halloween fun
day event on Sunday 4 th November.
Items:

Site development
The board has agreed on a plan to divide the two large fields into smaller grazing
paddocks using rows of fruit trees protected by stock fencing. This will help to
improve grazing rotations making movement and containment of animals much
easier, and will also add interest and diversity to the farm. The works will
commence in winter.
Preparations for the installation of a shelter for donkeys are under way. The
board discussed the importance of communication and coordination of projects of
this nature, which present both significant potential hazards, and also
opportunities for coordination with other planned projects. Currently there is no
definite timescale for this project.

GDPR
An independent gap analysis has been undertaken and the farm has begun
implementation of the recommendations made. Basic security is important, for
example checking that PCs lock when they go to sleep and keeping the office
doors locked.

Appraisals
The board discussed the need for more a more formal approach to staff remits

and appraisals.