Future-friendly plans for Penkridge farm's family attraction

Penkridge’s Lower Drayton Farm has unveiled ambitious plans to transform a number of existing agricultural buildings into a state-of-the-art play and education centre for families.

Farmer Ray Bower first launched the outdoor ‘fun farm’ attraction back in 2011 as one of a number of farm diversification projects. Managed by partner Val James, the attraction now welcomes families during school holidays with a firm emphasis on educating the public about life on a working farm. The next phase of developments will see Ray’s son Richard – who farms alongside him and is Chair of Staffordshire and Stafford NFU – take a more active role in the tourism side of the farm.
The plans, which were passed by Staffordshire County Council in October, include the conversion of existing agricultural and storage buildings into a new indoor play barn, animal viewing and interaction areas, woodland walk and outdoor play areas. Ray says:

“We’ve always been passionate about educating the public about farming and believe the best way of doing that is to welcome them onto our farm to show them exactly what we do. The new indoor play facility will mean we won’t be so reliant on good weather to attract visitors, so we’ll be able to open year-round not just during school holidays. We anticipate the creation of around 25 new jobs for the initial launch, with the number employed set to increase as the attraction expands in subsequent phases.”

Work will start on the new attraction in the new year, with an anticipated opening date in summer 2019. The farm will continue to open to visitors during school holidays up until the launch – including lamb feeding in February half term, Easter-themed activities during the Easter break and seasonal farm-related topics in summer half term.

For more details, opening times and prices head to www.lowerdraytonfarm.co.uk



Published 22nd November 2018