Most owls don’t go “twit two”! A day at Deen City Farm

By Joy Gerard

Deen City Farm is one of London’s oldest City Farms. First established in 1978 on a plot of land where the Phipps Bridge Estate currently stands, it now lives on a 5-acre purpose built working farm with gardens, riding school, garden, café and shop, as part of The National Trust’s Modern Hall Park. With over 60,000 visitors a year, they are very proud to be part of the local community and hope that they become part of the history of the local area.

Deen City farm is home to animals of all shapes and sizes such as cows, sheep, ducks, chicken, pigs, goats, budgies, birds, turkeys and resident barn owl Edna!
Most of Deen City Farm’s work involves the local community. Nick Golson, Manager at Deen City Farm says, “Everything we do is local and community based.”
They often work with Sustainable Merton, Merton Voluntary Service Council, South Mitcham Common Association, Colour House Theatre and many more local businesses. Being a charity themselves they also like to get involved with other charities and help the local residents, hence there is no admission fee for entry!

I found out that Deen City Farm are delighted by the news that the South Wimbledon Business Area are to be getting a Business Improvement District, and are looking forward to being a part of it. They work very closely with SWBA businesses who support them where they can with the farm. Finding funding is difficult, however, the businesses around them tend to show lots of support by lowering their costs, giving them free advice or gifting them with things they need around the farm.

Key things to lookout for the future are: getting funding together for Deen City Farm’s hub, so they can host more local activities with schools and events with the local residents. They are also considering getting some apprentices on board.

Deen City Farm has been a Merton Chamber member for a number of years, however manager Nick has only been in post since 2016. Nick says of our Business Engagement Manager Raymond Kinsella, “Raymond has been the biggest help since joining the Chamber. He has provided introductions to useful businesses. I am new to the borough and Ray has helped me get a lot of connections, not only did it save a lot of time and energy but it has also led to a lot of new things for the better for the farm.”

The staff are mostly volunteers or on work experience and they get all the support from Nick and the team. They also have some disabled people working for them and they try to support them in anyway they can.

What did I learnt during my morning at Deen City?
Most owls don’t go “twit two”!
And even though it looks beautiful and is open to all, the financial struggle is quite hard. They need sponsors and funding in order to expand more so they can give back to local community and do more school visits and events. They are also on the look out for any old working computers that businesses do not need, as well as any chairs or tables.

If you are interested to know more about ways your business can help Deen City Farm, please contact Nick directly