Category Archives: Wooly Ward’s Farm

COVID 19 Update

COVID 19 Update

Dear Friends,

Please read this August update carefully. While many businesses have been allowed to reopen with restrictions, we at Wooly Farm have been trying to figure out a safe way for us to reopen.

We have been in touch with all the relevant Government Departments on how we can conduct our mobile farm safely. All government guidance will need to be complied with including social distancing, numbers of people/households in gardens or at events, contact tracing, hand washing and animal contact etc.

Unfortunately these restrictions are making it next to impossible for us to provide our service in a safe way. We have explored different ways of providing our services but there are just too many variables and we don’t want our events to be a vehicle for the spread of the virus. Coupled with this, and as you will have seen on the news, the events sector has been badly hit by the pandemic. People (quite rightly) just do not want to book/attend events for fear of catching the virus. The end result is that right now, it is not financially viable for us to recommence events. We are receiving too few bookings to cover the cost of our public liability insurance! In other words we would be operating at a huge loss!

To say we are disappointed is an understatement! We love what we do – we love showing off our beautiful babies at events and entertaining you all with our silly antics!

But we now need to take stock of the current crisis and give a clear picture as to our plans. We are going to suspend all Wooly Farm activities until 2021. Hopefully a vaccine will be found by then, and at that point we will be able to operate in a safe environment. The health and safety of our staff, animals and clients comes first. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are in regular contact with the relevant bodies. If circumstances change, you can be assured that Wooly Farm will be back on the road.

Provisional bookings can be made for 2021 by emailing info@woolyfarm.ie or calling us on (087) 367 6787, however, what we can offer will continue to adapt as guidance changes. We will not be requiring our usual deposit to secure your date, so please do book your visit from Wooly Farm.

We thank you for your patience and hope to see you with our animals as soon as possible!

Wooly Farm

COVID 19

Ian Callanan

Wooly Ward’s Farm

Dear Friends,

You are all aware of the impact that Covid 19 is having on our world. We are in unchartered waters and uncertain times. 

Our government has advised each of us to avoid gatherings and close contact with others, this means that we have to close Wooly Farm until this outbreak has passed and our Government gives us an indication that it is safe to resume public events.

We realise that many of you will be disappointed – but we would also like to reassure you that your safety comes first. Any existing bookings will have their deposit carried forward for a future booking. 

We would encourage you to continue preliminarily booking with us in the hope that this restriction is lifted before your event date – we will not be taking booking deposits at this time just the dates.

Our office hours will be reduced and open from 12-4 Monday to Friday. If you have any queries please contact us on (087) 367 6787 or by email info@woolyfarm.ie

As one chapter closes another opens

We are so happy to announce that the legacy of Wooly Farm that was begun by Scary Mary will continue under the new ownership of Farmer Al.

Wooly Farm has grown from strength to strength since it was founded in 2011 and while we will be sad to see Scary Mary moving onto new pastures we are so excited for you all to meet Farmer Al and his team.

“I grew up on a farm and I’ve always had a deep love for animals. Even as a small child I was always dedicated to nursing sick animals back to health. Being a chatty, caring person, I was drawn to the Nursing field and after exploring several avenues, I finally found that Intellectual Disability Nursing, in the Respite setting, was the perfect fit for me.” said Farmer Al when asked about himself. He loves meeting new people, welcoming them, building therapeutic relationships, sourcing activities, entertaining everyone and seeing that they are enjoying themselves.

“My love of animals and farming has only grown with time, and in 2011, I set up my own little sheep farm which I adore. I love having visitors to the farm and teaching them about farming and seeing them enjoy working with animals and getting involved.” It was from this that the dream of opening a Fun Farm began. He continues “In 2017, my mother-in-law bought me two potbelly pigs as a birthday present & in 2018 my friend offered me an Alpaca, so my little menagerie grew!” As part of his research into Fun Farms he came across Wooly Farm and after visiting Scary Mary and her animals he knew the right thing to do was to buy her farm which was for sale.

“Setting up a Pet Farm has been a pipe-dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and is the ideal and logical way of merging my two passions. I am a firm believer that growing up on family farm is a wonderful start to give any child. I want to share with people the joy that animals can bring and the fun that can be had on a farm and give them a day they’ll remember for a long time!!!”

Acquiring the mobile side of Wooly Wards Farm is a stepping stone towards the larger plan of establishing a Fun Farm which will be based in Moneygall, Co Offaly. In today’s society with people immersed more and more in the cyber-world it’s more important than ever to get back to basics and make fun away from the phone and computer screens.

If you are interested in having Wooly Farm come to visit you for your birthday, communions, confirmations, weddings, Montessori, school, university or Corporate Fun days then please get in touch either by info@woolywardsfarm.com or by phone (087) 367 6787

 

Goodbye and Farewell!

Goodbye and Farewell!                11/09/2018                                                        

Wooly Farm has grown from strength to strength over the years.

It only seems like yesterday when we set up and organised 54 events in our first year! And that was over seven years ago. The very first event we went to was a birthday party in Stamullen and I remember well how we couldn’t lift the pig into the van after the party because he was too heavy. We had to ring home and wait for reinforcements!

We have come a long way since that day in Stamullen and have just completed 570 events in the first nine months of 2018.

But as the business grows each year so does the amount of work and planning that goes into each event to ensure that all our customers get a top-class service. Of course, a farm never closes as our diva animals have us on call 24/4 365 days a year.

Our team has strived year in year out to be the best in class in our industry by implementing new procedures that ensure our animals have the highest care and attention, our vans and horseboxes are spotlessly clean, and our staff are highly trained in animal handling, first aid and child protection as well as customer service.

As I look out my office window, I see a lovely little farm that has been rejuvenated by all the visitors who have come here for events and school tours. Little did my fore fathers 300 years ago know that Scary Mary, theatre shows, Thomas the tank engine and pumpkin decorating would be a regular occurrence at Ward’s Farm. It is funny to think; how many enterprises have happened on this farm since 1720.

As we all know, nothing stands still in life. Things are forever changing around us. Our children are born, our parents and other family members die, we change careers, houses and cars. This has all happened to us too. Cathal and I have reared seven children who are all growing up and going their separate ways. We also cared for my parents on the farm with us until they both passed away – Dad only last month.

We now feel it is time to take our foot off the peddle so to speak and have more quality time with the family. We look forward to holidays and to finally go to events as spectators and not promoters. It is an ongoing joke that the kids check the roster before they visit to see if we are at home!

So, we plan to retire from Wooly Farm and put the mobile farm on the market for sale hoping that someone vibrant, enthusiastic and hardworking will take it over and bring it to new heights. We will close the farm for events and sadly the Halloween Experience will not be taking place this year.  Our plan is to finish up at the end of September and hopefully the mobile farm will be up and running in the New Year under new management.

Finally, I must thank you, our loyal customers from the bottom of my heart for supporting us and our visits over the past seven and a half years. This job has so many positives but one of the most rewarding elements is to receive the numerous messages and endorsements each week thanking us for bringing our animals and lots of fun to your events.

We never know what the future holds but hopefully the memories of Wooly Farm and Scary Mary will remain in your and your children’s hearts and minds for ever more!!

With much appreciation

Scary Mary

Book your tickets for the Teddy Bear’s Picnic Now!

Don’t miss our annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th Of July from 2-5pm at Wooly Farm.

A fun filled day for all of the family with activities including Teddy Bear’s Picnic with Goldilocks, Teddy Hospital, Magic Show, Animal Petting, Thomas the Tank Engine,  Bouncy Castles and much more!!

Tickets on sale now – Book early to avoid disappointment!

Easter Eggstravaganza Tickets On Sale Now!!

Wooly Ward’s Farm is delighted to announce the return of the Easter Eggstravaganza on  Friday 30th March, Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st of April!

Special Activities Include:

  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Live Lambing
  • Animal Maternity Ward
  • Easter Show

Not forgetting:

  • Bouncy Castles
  • Animal Petting
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Scary Mary which will all be there as usual!

Tickets on sale now – book early to avoid disappointment!

The farm that brings the animals to you!

Thank you to Aidan Coyle from Dublin Institute of Technology for sending us this lovely blog!

Wooly Ward’s is a mobile farm based in County Dublin. It is run by Mary Ward or “Scary Mary” as she likes to be known. She along with the rest of her team bring animals to different places so people of all ages can see them.

 

I asked her why she first set up the farm. She said: “ The idea came about 6 years ago during the recession. We brought 2 lambs to a Montessori school in Skerries during the Spring for the children to feed them.”

 

Mary said: “The 2 lambs caused a stir in Skerries with so many people coming to see them that I thought we were onto something. So, in June 2011 we set up our first Mobile Farm.”

 

Mary brings the animals around which she calls the Tardis. She said “All the animals have individual pens in the van and because they know the routine so well, they all hop into the van of their own accord.

 

She said: “When we are returning home they instinctively sense when we reach the end of the road and start a chorus of bleats and chirps as their excitement grows – they are so clever!”

 

Mary has been bringing the animals around for six years and she is much better at it now than she was when she started. “It took us about 6 hours to load the animals the first day. Now it takes us an hour!”

 

Mary thinks that the Wooly Ward’s can benefit people of all ages. She said: “We visit Montessori’s all the way up to Nursing Homes and everything in between. Petting animals is great therapy for everyone and the irony is that animals love to be caressed as well. All our animals are hand reared so they have no fear of humans. Of course, from an educational point of view, it is great for children to get up close to pigs and sheep etc.”

Check out the animals on RTE Today!

The animals had a great time at Newpark Nursing Home and a special visit from RTE Today.

We have been engaging with nursing homes over the past six years. and the farm regularly visits residents with a wide range of animals. Among those who visit nursing homes are small furries, poultry, and larger farm animals such as pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas.

How does it work?

Wooly Farm sets up in the nursing home residents’ day room to facilitate the petting as well as grooming of the smaller animals. The bigger animals are brought in at the end of the event to meet everyone.

Many nursing home residents are from farming backgrounds and visits from the animals facilitates reminiscing about their time spent on their family farms. Other residents simply entertain a huge love of animals, and have many stories to regale everyone with. For residents with Alzheimer’s, the animals bring joyful reactions, with sensory contact evoking a positive reaction. Residents find it very therapeutic and enjoyable to pet and hold the bunnies and chicks. Additionally, nursing homes are very proactive in engaging with Wooly Farm, and specialise in facilitating the experience the visit of the farm can bring to residents.

A recent visit to New Park Nursing Home, The Ward, proved to be a great success. Christine, the activities coordinator, quoted in her Facebook message

“Lovely staff and adorable animals. This year we got to meet 3 week old chicks, 10 day old lambs, and month old bunnies. Needless to say everyone had a ball petting, cuddling, and learning about these lovely animals.”

One of the many advantages of having the mobile visit in Nursing Homes is that it can generate excitement amongst the youth and elderly alike. Nursing homes invite residents relatives for the Farm’s visit. Grandchildren and grandparents enjoy wonderful interaction with each other and the animals, and create special memories. The pet therapy is effective as it brings people of all ages together, and memories of the visits are fun and ever-lasting.