July 31, 2008

Minister Gives Seal of Approval to City Farm

COMMUNITIES and Local Government minister Baroness Andrews yesterday toured a Tyneside urban farm.

She visited Bill Quay Community Farm in Gateshead as an example of an exciting urban green space where riverside industry once dominated.

Earlier this month, Baroness Andrews was at a ceremony when the farm won a Green Flag award, which recognises quality parks and green spaces.

She said: "In our busy modern lives, parks and green spaces are invaluable as areas where young and old can come together to relax, exercise and play."

Bill Quay Farm is a community leisure project which has transformed a reclaimed 40 acre site into a green retreat with stunning panoramic views.

It was set up in 1986 as part of a package of schemes to promote urban renewal in East Gateshead. The farm is a partnership between Gateshead Council and the Bill Quay Community Farm Association.

The farm focuses on the conservation and husbandry of endangered breeds of livestock and is a Rare Breed Survival Trust approved conservation centre.

Its star is Ruby the Tamworth pig but the farm's Longhorn cattle and Hebridean sheep tour Gateshead's nature reserves to improve the sites for wildlife.

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