East Lodge Farm brings family fun to Northampton with new open farm
After more than 60 years in one family's hands this farm has launched another new addition
A Northampton working farm has opened new gates this week as an open farm, where other families can meet and pet animals ranging from ducklings all the way to Highland cattle.
East Lodge Farm, in Ecton, is already host to a wide range of functions, including a horse riding school, cattle farm and a shop, but it was the search for a family day out that led this farm to branch out even more.
Thomas White, who owns the business as a third-generation tenant farmer of East Lodge, said that it was hard to find family attractions for his kids, aged eight and three, so with some added spare time he set about making one himself.
The dad-of-two said: "It's an idea that I've had for a few years. Then Covid-19 and lockdown happened so once we had the time we thought that it was worth a shot.
"You sort of had to go north of Kettering to get something similar and there isn't much to do in between.
"We were having to travel a fair distance for something similar so, we thought, why not?"
"It took us a fair while to get our license from the council to actually exhibit the animals. The whole thing took about 18 months start to finish."
The farm is now home to a vast array of 60 animals, including rabbits, ducklings, goats, sheep, chickens, a Shetland pony named Honey and two Highland cattle named Bill and Ben.
Besides that, almost everything sold at East Lodge is locally sourced, including cakes from Tees Bakery in Northampton and coffee from The Roastery in Wellingborough. They even sell sausages made on-site from their own livestock farm.
When asked about attendance since they opened on Saturday (October 23) Thomas added: "It's had a great response. After only three days we were having more than 100 people a day, on average.
"We feel like we've made a lovely destination for families to come and enjoy Northamptonshire's countryside and we're looking forward to seeing more people coming soon."
With Christmas not too far away, the farm is even planning a Santa's Grotto to be held in the ten days before the festive day.
The farm will be open Friday to Sunday every week until then, when visitors can meet all of their farmyard friends for £6 each, or for free if they are under 1-year-old.
Search East Lodge Open Farm on Facebook to find out more.