Return to Wick Court

May 29, 2015

photo 1My name is Anna Berentzen and I’ve been lucky enough to embark on four trips to Wick Court farm at the age of eight, nine, ten, and twenty. As a student of Orrishmere Primary School, I was one of the fortunate few who got to visit the beautiful farm three times. I was one of the fortunate few who got to go on three of the greatest adventures I’ve been on, all before I was even 11! It was due to these trips that I fell madly in love with the country, the smell of fresh air, the dirt and hard work, and the feeling of utter freedom. All the devices we had become so attached to (which then were Gameboys and CD players) were swapped for books, songs by the piano, and of course the wonderful talent shows. I would desperately like to explain all the wonders of Wick Court Farm and all that I learnt but I simply cannot write it all down without writing for days on end. I can only hope to give you some kind of an idea as to how much the farm means to me.

Imagine holidaying with your best friends, people who have looked after you for years, and brand new group of enthusiastic, exciting people full of knowledge and jokes. Not only was I amongst wonderful people, I got to discover a whole new world full of life changing experiences. While I wasn’t completely deprived of countryside at home, the extent of animals I would see on a regular basis would be squirrels, seagulls, and maybe the neighbour’s dog. The thrill of holding Baz the rottweiler puppy, or being trusted to feed a new born lamb that wouldn’t drink from it’s own mother is so beyond anything I had ever known that I still get excited about it today. For the first time in my life I was not seen as a little girl, but I was expected to be strong as I lugged fruit in wheel barrows that we later crushed into juice. All of a sudden, not working as a team didn’t just mean a bit of a telling off, it meant be being late for dinner which you had worked so hard to receive, or worse still, falling into the poo you were trying to shovel up! I learnt all sorts from how cows are fertilised to how to eat my food properly with a knife and fork. I learnt what it feels like to be really tired, and what it feels like to love somewhere almost as much as your own home.

And so I am brought to my fourth visit at the age of twenty. There really hasn’t been a year that’s gone by that I haven’t shared (or retold) stories from the farm and expressed how much I would want to visit again. I was on a weekend break to Glousteshire when once again I half jokingly told my boyfriend how much I would want to visit the farm and see what it was like now, little did I expect he would drive me right there. As we drove up the winding road leading to the big farm house, I was flooded with memories and feelings from the decade before. I didn’t know what to expect, if I would recognise anything, or if I would even be allowed to look around. But of course, true to everything I remember, the familiar sound of Heather’s voice welcoming me in, inviting me to look round, confirmed everything I had remembered. Often when people revisit memories that they have since looked on through a rose tinted vision, they are disappointed. I was not. The only thing that seemed to have changed was that everything looked a bit smaller now I had grown another foot or so.

The work Farms for City Children does is invaluable. It opens up a whole world that some children never knew existed and it allows them to fall in love with the Great British country side. The lessons a child will learn on their adventure at a Farms for City Children farm are so plentiful and so necessary that I genuinely feel sorry for those who don’t have the experience. I owe so much to those at Wick Court farm and I sincerely hope that the farm continues to thrive and keeps offering children what can only be described as a life changing experience.

I hope all is going well at the farm.

All the best,

Anna