Rice Lane City Farm aims to provide a friendly place for local people to work together, while learning about animal husbandry, farm skills and crafts. We are in an area steeped in local history, and offer an enjoyable and sociable atmosphere.
Twenty four acres of countryside in the heart of the city
At first sight you might be forgiven for mistaking the 24 acres of Rice Lane City Farm – with its 14 acres of woodland – as countryside, even with the city all round.
An environmental oasis
Walton, like many other areas has many problems reflected in the community, the City Farm is a community led initiative to support our community and help other communities achieve solutions through training, social and educational experiences.
Our project has become an environmental oasis, unique within the city of Liverpool, which is constantly developing and changing.
The farm hosts a variety of individuals and groups e.g. Student placements, school parties, special needs groups and exchanges from Germany.
Our farmyard comprises a stable block, pig pen, barn, free range poultry unit and children’s petting area.
Our Ryeland sheep are show champions and our saddleback pigs are prize winners! The Red Poll cows form the nucleus of a collection or rare breed farm livestock, along with our goats, pony, ducks, geese, rabbits and chicks.
Two of our community’s important assets are our children and our young people.
We run a number of different projects in relation to children and young people and see them as the centre of the farm’s development.
An ongoing aim within our youth group is to redress marginalised young people in our society. All our work puts great emphasis on multicultural education and the inclusion of groups who do not have equal representation.
We work with formal and informal education covering a host of packages including YTS, NVQs in general agriculture, Level 1, livestock production, Level 2, environmental conservation and horticulture, Level 1, and an Oxford and Cambridge skills course. We organise school visits which are run to national curriculum guidelines, hold rural craft workshops, and encourage student placements.
The chapel has recently been refurbished, it hosts evening youth sessions, fund-raising events, children’s parties, social evenings and live performances.
We run playschemes during summer and Easter holidays including activities such as animal workshops, arts, crafts, sports, trips out, spinning, dyeing, music and environmental projects.
- We run an after schools club on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm.
- A senior youth club runs on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7.30pm to 10pm.
- We run a thriving football coaching and skills scheme.
- Workshops for school children are run during half-terms during school hours.
- We run a young farmers club at weekends.
All activities on site are free of charge.
The farm includes the grounds of Walton Cemetery which provides a wealth of beautiful countryside within the city. A nature trail gives access to grass and woodland ecology throughout the seasons. A history trail explains all the points of interest as you walk around. Maps are available from the office.
The meadows are grazed by our animals and in the summer Liverpool seems miles away.
There are many varieties of trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers, which attract several important birds and mammals.
We have a garden area and poly-tunnel which produces plants and seasonal organic vegetables which are picked as they are available. We also sell manure.
A leaflet is available highlighting the historical interest of Walton Park Cemetery. The cemetery and its buildings are owned by Our Lady & St. Nicholas parish church. Rice Lane Community Association, our parent company, leases the site on our behalf.
Within the cemetery walls are a number of war graves and family burial plots. A number of noted Liverpool people are buried there.
The cemetery has a long connection with the buildings it is situated between – the former Walton Workhouse (also known as the West Derby Union Workhouse and now Walton Hospital) and Walton Prison. Here lie buried thousands of unknown paupers who died dreadful deaths in the workhouse.
The cemetery includes the graves of Robert Tressell who wrote the great Victorian novel of working-class life, ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’, and of James Carling whose illustrations for Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem ‘The Raven’ are considered definitive.
The City Farm is part of Rice Lane Community Association (a registered charity), we are constantly developing our project for the benefit of the community.
Projects earmarked for the future include: refurbishment of rear of lodge for a healthy food project, upgrading of farm buildings, redevelopment of old dairy building, pony rides, a shop development for farm produce and rural crafts, a gardening club, an aquaponics area where fish and food will be grown symbiotically, and a new building for training and multimedia to name a few!
Can you help us?
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, or if you want to visit the farm or have us visit your school, nursery or other centre, contact the administration office on (0151) 530 1066.
And keep visiting this site to keep up-to-date with developments.