A letter to our visitors
Educating the Next Generation
Keeping Farming and Rural Skills Alive
The changes and what they mean
Dear Sacrewell visitors,
We wanted to say A HUGE thank you for all of your support over the years. We’ve seen you feeding the animals even when the skies have opened and laughing at a mesmerising outdoor theatre show in the summer. We’ve helped you discover new life in our pond dipping sessions and bake your very own bread roll in our Victorian oven. We’ve listened to your feedback, and hope you’ve noticed the improvements that have taken place across the farm over the past few years including the Playbarn (and toilets!) to improve our wet weather offer on the farm, and the restoration of the 18th-century watermill. There are now more free activities for children such as den building, animal handling sessions, mill tours, spring lamb shows and pop-up animal talks. These core activities have given our visitors a unique experience of the countryside, fresh air and farm life.
Less exciting perhaps, but crucial in sustaining the high standards of visitor experience we want you to enjoy, is the forthcoming admission price increase. As a self-supporting charity (we have no large funding endowment to draw from), the William Scott Abbott Trust needs to secure additional income to continue to invest in Sacrewell, at a time when costs are increasing. Maintenance costs alone rose 15% last year.
The Trust has invested heavily in the facilities on offer at Sacrewell. In many ways, we’ve become a “victim of our own success”, as this investment has helped to attract yet more visitors which in turn places further demands on our resources. Given the expected growth in the city’s population the demand for the offer at Sacrewell is likely to continue to grow in the future. More investment is underway to further enhance the visitor experience, such as the new outdoor play area, new livestock and housing (including the return of heavy horses!) and the replacement of some ageing farm infrastructure.
Thus, the charity’s Board of Trustees has approved an increase to our daily admission and annual pass prices for the first time in three years, to generate much-needed additional revenue. The new prices will start from 10 February 2018 and will help pay for all the services provided by the William Scott Abbott Trust, including the staff who supervise the Playbarn during all hours the farm is open and free WiFi.
As a member of the National Farm Attractions Network, we are confident that our prices are in-line with other similar parks and still provide excellent value for money. Our frequent visitors will want to consider purchasing an annual pass, which allows unlimited entry throughout the year and a range of other exciting benefits.
We’re thrilled to be moving forward with our core objectives and connecting our visitors with rural life and the countryside through our 2018 programme. If you’d like to hear more about the changes to the farm then we’ve included further details in the tabs on this page. In the meantime, we have a very exciting year ahead of us and we look forward to seeing you on the farm again very soon.
Debbie Queen, General Manager
PS – If you’d like to know what we’re doing to improve your visitor experience then why not sign up to our monthly e-newsletter Sacrewell Tails.
2018 Daily Admission Prices from 10 February, open daily 9.30am-5pm
|2017 Peak Admission (with GiftAid)||2018 Peak Admission (with Donation)|
|Family (1 adult & 3 kids or 2 adults & 2 kids)||£25.00||£30.00|
*Concessions for Emergency Services, NHS and Armed Forces with a Blue Light Card, Seniors and Students
School visits are increasingly popular at the farm and our education team have been working with local schools to develop and extend our offer. Ravensthorpe Primary School participated in our first ever Farm Camp in July 2017, spending a night under canvas on the farm and producing their own dinner from scratch. The school council from Wittering Primary School joined us for Kids in Museums Takeover Day in November, researching, rehearsing and carrying out their own ‘Dairy Tales’ tour in just one day.
Through the farm at Sacrewell, the William Scott Abbott Trust enables over 3000 school children each year to gain a deeper understanding of where their food comes from. By giving each child a love of the countryside, we hope to inspire them to conserve it for years to come. In order for us to continue delivering our invaluable work with schools and children, we rely on the generosity of our visitors. From ticket admissions to how much money you spent on ice cream in August, you’ve helped make this happen and your support is irreplaceable.
Connecting Children with the Countryside
We have an amazing programme of children’s activities; from pond dipping to den building to baking bread to animal handling. We are a Children’s University Learning Destination, and we’re applying for our Learning Outside the Classroom accreditation. We’re forever delivering high quality activities that inspire children to get outdoors.
“I don’t like potatoes, but I dug these up so I have to try one,”
Overheard in the dinner queue with a class of Year 4 pupils at Farm Camp …. And it’s things like this that let us know we’ve made an impact.
The feedback we hear most is that you want to get much closer to our animals and we’ve listened. From pop up animal talks over the summer, to the chance to become a farmer for a day last October half term, we’re building an animal rich programme for 2018 and getting you closer to experiencing life on a farm. We’re bringing back public lamb feeding in our lamb shows, and offering private lambing experience sessions for small groups, where you can come and help our lambs come into the world with the guidance of our livestock manager.
We have rare breed farm animals so that our visitors can gain greater insight into how and why farmers have selectively bred traits and characteristics in livestock, and how this has affected rural England over the years. We’re continuing to develop our rare breed programmes and our Landrace pigs are now producing up to four litters a year. We purchased more rare breed Lincoln Longwool sheep so we can start our own breeding programme (is there anything cuter than a curly new born Longwool lamb?), and we have two incredible Suffolk Punch horses arriving at the farm very soon, Seren-Haf and Brenin.
We’ve been making changes to the Animal Village and we took the decision to expand the hatchery, so that we can hatch chicks and ducklings all year round in our incubators. From Polish Bantam chickens to quails to New Hampshire reds, you’ll find more feathered friends at the farm in spring.
Rural Skills and Workshops
You will all know (or should by now) that we’re so lucky to have an amazing partnership with Chain Bridge Forge. Every 3rd weekend in a month they open up their workshop on the farm so you can have a go at blacksmithing, creating your own coat hook in half an hour or spending an afternoon in your own tailored session in our extended workshops. We’ve also formed a partnership with Nene Coppicing and Craftswho will run demonstrations at the farm every other Wednesday. They’ll be offering workshops in willow working and green wood. We’re continuing our hedge laying and dry stone walling days and have an exciting calendar of adult workshops planned for 2018.
We introduced the willow dome, the bramble tunnel and a den building wood in 2017 so that families could explore more of our unique and wonderful site. Meanwhile the outdoor team are planning even more opportunities for natural play around the farm. Our outdoor playpark is getting a new lease of life for 2018 with new equipment arriving in the spring and we’ve doubled the size of the park so there’s more space than ever before to run around in.
Our Playbarn was added to the farm as an additional attraction so that our visitors have an extra space to stay warm, dry and get a cup of coffee when the weather is poor. This means our prices are different to other soft play attractions in the area as admission includes access to the whole farm and our free programme of activities.
When the Playbarn was introduced in 2014, our admission price and annual pass price remained the same. Since then we have introduced new toilets, seating areas and free Wi-Fi to the Playbarn. As part of the farm we offer one of the best soft play areas in Peterborough, which is fun for anyone aged 0 – 12, and it’s open 7 days a week. Some of the child’s ticket admission will go towards maintaining this excellent facility to a high standard as well as planning for future improvements and developments for you all to enjoy.
We hope we’ve given you enough insight into the William Scott Abbott Trust and how these changes will better reflect what we offer at Sacrewell. Here are the three main things that will be changing on February 10th:
1. Opening Times and Prices
Opening hours and season pricing
At the beginning of 2018 we took the decision to open half an hour earlier than normal. Going forwards we will always open at 9.30am. During our normal hours we will close at 5pm and in our winter hours we will close at 4pm. The new admission price below will remain the same throughout the year, and you’ll be able to buy admission online for 10% less very soon.
We’ve changed our admission prices to include a 50p donation towards the William Scott Abbott Trust, the charity behind Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre. If you’d rather not include the donation in your ticket, please let the reception team know.
2. Who needs a ticket?
We’ve changed our admission structure into the farm so an adult ticket is £7 and the child’s ticket is £10.
We have an amazing programme of children’s activities; including pond dipping, den building, bread making and animal handling to name a few. We are a Children’s University Learning Destination, and we’re applying for our ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ accreditation. We’re consistently delivering high quality activities that inspire children to get outdoors.
The Playbarn, our indoor soft play is very popular to visitors and is open to children aged twelve and under. We’ve changed the age of our child ticket to 2-12 years old to reflect this, because we realise that anyone over this age probably won’t be sliding down the barnyard slide thirty times in a row or swinging from the giant carrots in the soft play. This means that anyone aged 13 or over can purchase an adult ticket. Under 2s are still free.
The reception team have been welcoming visitors on site for a number of years now (Hazel recently celebrated her 10 year anniversary with us) and the question the team get asked the most is: “Do you offer a discounted price for …..” We‘ve always offered a reduced price for senior citizens, but now our concession admission includes Students and Emergency Services, NHS and Armed Forces with a Blue Light Card.
Carers and under 2s are still FREE.
3. Annual Pass
If you’re a regular visitor to Sacrewell, you’ll know that there’s something different every season. Why not make the most of it and purchase an annual pass? With the change in admission, there also comes a change in the annual pass price – so we’re offering (for a limited time only) the same offers and discounts as the NEW pass for the same price as the old one. You only have to visit eight times during the year to get excellent value for money, as well as being eligible for a load of great discounts and priority booking for events. Annual passes can be purchased online soon or from reception, visit here to find out more.
Annual Pass Pricing
Starting on the 10th of February
From the 10th of February 2018, ALL EXISTING annual pass holders will be entitled to:
- 10% off Camping Booking
- 10% off Santa Ticket and Easter Ticket 2018
- 10% off in the gift shop when you spend £10 or more (excluding alcohol and admission)
- 10% off in the Origin8 Café and kiosk when you spend over £5
- 10% off the following birthday party packages: ‘Exclusive Hire Playbarn Parties’, Self Catered Playbarn and ‘Outdoor Parties’.
- A discount of £1 for every child booked at a catered Playbarn Party Paddock Party
Events and classes
- Early booking for selected events such as Christmas, Easter and theatre tickets
- 1 free visit for all ticket holders to Grimsthorpe Castle, near Bourne in Lincolnshire
- Subscription to Sacrewell Tails e-newsletter including news, updates and events before the general public
- Pay for 12 months and get 13 months included
If you purchase a FAMILY annual pass from 10th February 2018, you will ALSO be entitled to:
- A Farm Welcome Pack
- £15 towards a course or workshop when you buy a family pass
- 4 Free Child Visits for family and friends throughout the year worth £40