The Great British Farm Project (Post 1)

A couple of months ago, the Saint Kidd team headed up North to Hesbert Hall where we were greeted by Stephen and Tracey.

It’s a complete understatement to say that they are phenomenal individuals.  They single-handily run a farm with over 1,000 animals – which as you can imagine, is an incredibly tough job.

The founders of the Great British Farm Project, they rescue and provide sanctuary for animals in need. Remember the post on the Saint Kidd blog from a couple of months back featuring William the Kidd and friends? Well, Hesbert Hall is their residence.

Since the GBFP is an independent setup, it can make funding for all of the animals a little tricky, which is why both Stephen and Tracey rely on donations from the public. Whether it’s £1 or £100; from meeting them it was clear to see just how much they appreciate it all.
We were given a tour of the farm and were all totally fascinated by the animal hospital. 90% of the stock within the room had been donated via their Amazon wish-list, which is amazing.


I did a little interview with the guys so you can get a more detailed insight into their lives and get an understanding of exactly how hard they both work…

For people who don’t know, tell us a little bit about what you guys do?

We are a farm animal and equine rescue sanctuary campaigning for improved animal welfare and sustainable farming which we do organically.
Our mission is to promote animal welfare and provide homes for unwanted/neglected farm animals and horses. We are also passionate about wildlife and the environment. Several projects are underway to encourage wading birds and restore traditional hay meadows.
All this is done within a farming context.

Was there anything in particular that made you both want to go down that career path or had you grown up in similar environments?

We have always wanted to work with livestock, it’s an indefinable urge that lies somewhere deeper than just a job or keen hobby. We felt passionately (and still do) that we didn’t want a commercial business nor indeed to play at farming but to achieve a sustainable and more wholesome life – that brought us closer to nature and the land and animals that we share our life with. Somehow we wanted to make a difference.

What can people who want to give their support, do?

The best way is via our 1000 club - http://greatbritishfarmproject.org.uk/blog-post/ If we can achieve 1000 supporters donating a £1/month that will ensure the long term viability of the project.

Can you give us a little background of some of the animals on the farm?

Cripes. That could take a while :) We have some info on just a few of the rescues here - http://greatbritishfarmproject.org.uk/rescue/rescue-stories/ does that help?
We then of course have William :)

What does it feel like rescuing animals that have had a horrendous start in life and turning that around? I can imagine it must be so rewarding.

It's mind blowing. There has been the most horrendous heartbreak when despite your every efforts sometimes it's just not meant to be. But the day when a rescued animal looks you in the eye with trust and not fear I can't describe just how amazing that feels.

Run us through a typical day for you both…

·         A typical day starts at 6am to let out the 1200 rescued hens. These are then fed and watered.
·         All the animals are then checked and fed.
·         The mass clean up then begins of horses stables, goat pens, hens, ducks and pigs.
·         Another animal checked is the done
·         Eggs collected and nest boxes cleaned
·         Walling and fencing is on-going and we try and do bits and pieces when we can throughout the day
·         Afternoon brings on another round of feeding for the hens, goats etc and checking everyone has water.
·         Land management – strimming of rushes, cleaning of ditches etc
·         Depending on time of year we have worming of everyone to do, feet checks etc.
·         Check everyone in the evening and start shutting away hens and ducks.
·         Finish outside around 9/10pm during the summer and have to cram all that and more into the shorter winter days.


Stephen and Tracey have both dedicated their lives to all their animals. They never get a day off, or a break away from it all - 365 days a year, with very little sleep.

From spending the afternoon with them it was clear to see just how much they adore each and every one of them – and although they have such a vast amount, they have managed to successfully memorize each of their names - pretty insane!

The reason for the SK team spending the day at the farm was to carry out a photo shoot featuring a handful of Stephen and Tracey’s animals. The super talented TomLeishman shot the photos, whilst we all tried to assist in making sure everything ran smoothly. 

The calenders have just been released and look absolutely stunning. If you fancy picking one up for yourself or perhaps as a Christmas gift for someone, then click here

100% of the proceeds go to the Great British Farm Project, so for only £10 (plus postage), you really will be making a difference.  


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