Rural Care

Where care for land and people meet.

Running for Rural Care

Our very own Tony Hopkins is running the London Marathon this year to raise money for Rural Care. Once we had got over the fact that Tony could actually run and didn’t just stand around drinking tea all day, we thought about how we could help him train. What Tony doesn’t know is that we have a training schedule planned for him. How better to train for a marathon than helping herding sheep. We thought he could start by herding our flock of 200 ewes. Think one man and his dog, without the dog! To finish up his training we thought we could put the pressure on and let the rams do the herding and see how fast he can run! We are here to help in any way we can.


All money raised will help Rural Care in different ways to help in general but there are some specific projects and tools we have in mind.

  • We would like a few new 2-wheeled wheelbarrows, as these enable Co-Farmers with mobility problems to be more independent.
  • We would also like to make some of our animal pens more accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Finally, we have a fund for individuals who we really feel would benefit from what we do. Funding for provisions and services is diminishing year on year. It often hits hardest for those who fall between the cracks or don’t fit into the funding boxes. This fund will enable those individuals to access the farm and all it has to offer.

2017 - Sept wheelbarrow

We are blown away by this amazing gesture and will be with Tony every step of the way through this amazing journey.

Donate at



Time Well Spent

In 2009, my oldest son Lee who has special needs was lucky enough to start as a Co-Farmer at Rural Care Church Farm.  I would drop him off at 10:00am on a Thursday morning , and collect him at 3.00pm.  Once we were on our way home I would turn to ask him what he had been doing ,but he usually nodded off to sleep.  It was clear he enjoyed his day at the farm.

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In 2010-2011, on one of the rarer occasions I got to talk to him before his usual sleep on the way home I asked him what he had been doing, and all he said was collecting eggs.  Concluding that even with tea-breaks and a lunch break it wouldn’t take five hours to collect eggs, I decided I wanted to learn more about what  he enjoyed so much about  Church Farm and especially about Rural Care.

I was sure we had a pretty good idea of the work he  was doing , but I thought it would be a good way to spend some time on a working farm.

The following Thursday, I asked about spending the day, especially collecting the eggs. I remember on that particular day this task wasn’t being done until a bit later but I enjoyed the day so much that in 2011 I became a volunteer  at Church Farm.

Ian Corley Dec 2017

In that time I have done many different tasks and jobs as a volunteer at Church farm and all of these have been enjoyable and rewarding.

Collecting eggs, painting, moving sheep from one field to another, recording whether a ewe is pregnant and if so with how many lambs, bottle feeding baby lambs, cleaning and feeding rabbits, guinea pigs ,egg cleaning and grading, cleaning baby chick shed  food and water for baby chicks, looking after and care of the farm’s Christmas trees, digging up fresh veg, the list is endless.

My main jobs at present are cleaning, feeding, and water for the baby chicks and the care of the Christmas trees, which I took over in 2011.

My sons look forward to their Rural Care work every week.  They and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.  Our day is more like a brilliant day out, because there is no such thing as a  boring job at Church Farm.

—Ian Corley


2017 - 17 Aug 60th Birthday Tea


Please Note Our Phone Number

Rural Care has a direct mobile number and if you need to reach us, we ask you to ring this number rather than the farm number.

Rural Care at Church Farm:  07507 890 245

Messages that come through the farm number do not always reach us right away, for a variety of reasons.  There is also the issue of confidentiality and safeguarding, as the farm phone can be answered by any staff here at the farm.

It is best for everyone if we receive your calls and messages directly.

Thank you.

Cooking with Tomatoes in Rural Care

We like to cook with ingredients grown in our allotment and this autumn staff member Chris shared two recipes.

Tomato and Courgette Soup

plum tomatoes

Tomatoes x50
Large courgette x1
Vegetable stock 2T
Onions x2
Garlic bulb x1
Parsley (Chopped)
Tomato paste
Water to cover
Cooking oil




Heat oil in a pan.  Add chopped onion and garlic and lightly fry until soft and brown.  Add courgette and tomatoes and cook until soft and coloured.  Add tomato paste to combine.  Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock.  Pour in water until mix is covered.  Bring water to the boil then place a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to a low simmer and cook until the courgette is soft.  Blend the mixture until smooth, adding copped parsley.  Finally, finish with salt and pepper.


Tomato Chutney

500g red onion, finely sliced
Tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 red chilli, chopped (optional)
Ginger peeled and chopped
250g brown sugar
150ml red wine vinegar
5 cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Put all the ingredients into a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer.  Stir frequently.  Simmer for 1 hour, then bring to a gentle boil so that the mixture turns dark, jammy and shiny.  Place into sterilised jars and allow to cool before covering.  Will keep for 6 weeks.



Visit the Other Farm

Now that both farms are being run by Tim Waygood and working together much more, it seems an ideal time for Co-Farmers and their families to see what is going on at Rural Care at our sister farms.  Some of your colleague Co-Farmers will be showing you around their farm.


Co-Farmers from Rural Care, Church Farm, will be invited on Saturday, 21st October from 10-12:30 to come and see the farm at Aldenham Country Park, Daggers Lane, Elstree , WD6 3BA.

Co-Farmers from Rural Care, Aldenham Country Park will be invited to come to Church Farm, Ardeley, SG2 7AH on Saturday, 7th October from 10- 12.30.

Please RSVP in person, by phone or preferably by email, so we can arrange for a free farm pass.