It is Monday and all is pretty quiet at Holme Farm after a busy weekend. Roger is site manager and has just returned from collecting a donated garden bench; he joins Steve who is hacking back brambles. In a peaceful moment, one of the long term “residents” slides across the road. He’s evidently pleased that some of the tangled undergrowth has been brought under control!
Tuesday is the day that a group of NHS workers arrive; they are on a course that demonstrates the benefits of being connected to nature. While they observe and make bird feeders out of windfall apples, an inquisitive Muntjac deer skips across the field, checking the humans aren’t too intrusive. Some of the management team welcome the Mayor and her consort to show off the latest developments on site – this is her chosen charity for the year and she welcomes every chance to come down to this rather special place.
In the middle of the working week, Murphy Group turn up to connect the water supply so that we have running water and the potential for a flushing loo (the luxury)!
Pete will tile the room and Keith will then install the cistern. In the workers’ chillout room next door, the Surrey Ceilings team is busy putting up a false ceiling to provide more insulation in the winter months. Kali, the glazier, and her team have been lovingly restoring all the broken windows to help make it more windproof as well. In the evening, Richard and a few of the original team carry on with jobs until the light fades.. then head up the road for a well-earned pint!
Thursday is a busy day! Ronnie is on the phone securing more parking facilities; Christine is preparing the site for a team of 50 volunteers from a nearby corporate giant the next day who will be fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility commitment with a day of labour. In the evening, some of the Trustees attend an event hosted by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey on how to support local sixth form and further education colleges.
By Friday it’s all go, there are cheery, enthusiastic volunteers everywhere and Christine is kept busy telling the history and plans of Holme Farm. Pascale and Diana are site managers today and they keep out of the way with their painting jobs, preferring the peace in their part of the Barn. But of course, the site gates remain open which means passers-by do come in to find out more. One is keen to just soak it all up quietly with his camera.. it’s amazing the detail you notice when you stop and pay attention.
Saturday is Jenny’s favourite day of the week. She loves being part of something that will do a lot of good in time, help with conservation and is right on her doorstep.
There are plenty of visitors – the leaflets created by the PR and design team are having the desired effect and word is spreading. Later in the morning, a meeting is held for some of the key volunteers to keep them up to date on plans and to find out any concerns they have. There are many tiny cogs in this machine and every one plays a vital part.
If sowing wildflower seeds constitutes rest, then Sunday is being properly observed. The autumn sun is warm, the skies are deep blue and no less than 27 volunteers turn up to help Andi with this important work. Martin is site manager today and has been rallying them very effectively. The group has been wanting to see a swell of numbers and the buzz and exhilaration is palpable… even in the WhatsApp Chat afterwards. It’s what it’s all about… happiness, togetherness, nature and simplicity!