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.”