Pure bred Aberdeen-Angus
Contact Henry Rowntree, Rowntree Farms, Windy Pike, Gisburn, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 4HZ - 01200 445320 - 07866 222062
Ribble Aberdeen-Angus welcomes group visits (minimum of six to about thirty people) from schools/colleges/clubs/families/offices/farmers. The visit is tailored to the group's particular interest/curriculum. The farms are set in beautiful countryside with the environment as important as the breeding of animals. All ages are welcome. You need to come prepared for the weather and with sensible footwear. There is no charge for a visit - they are funded by Natural England as part of our Environmental Stewardship Scheme.
CEVAS trained we are flexible in planning visits to suit groups with differing interests and to include Key Stages within the curriculum. We have a wide variety of habitats - woods, river, ponds, grassland, specific wildlife corridors and a very strong breeding programme.
We welcome and encourage visitors of all ethnic and age groups, including the disadvantaged and those with differing abilities. We have hand washing, toilet and disabled facilities along with a room that can be used in wet weather. Access is over a cattle grid, then a tarmac lane with room for a coach to turn. Each visit is a fully guided tour by the farmer but group leaders are expected to take responsibility for the behaviour of their group - the groups are usually so interested in what they see and learn that disruptive behaviour has never been an issue. Booking is essential and good planning leads to a successful visit therefore teachers may wish to arrange a pre visit. Visitors safety is paramount - full risk assessments are undertaken. All our visitors complete an evaluation form which we use to enhance and improve future visits.
There are many areas of interest - it is quite rare to see a calf being born as they pop out when you have just left it!
Suckling after getting 'Mum' up
Blackbird chicks in nest waiting to be fed
Camouflaged Mallard ducklings
The farm has a wealth of attractions and learning opportunities covering a wide range of subjects from the more obvious of biology and geography to history and art.
Virtually all of our visits include a viewing of the docile pedigree Aberdeen-Angus cattle which seem to hold the attention of even the most challenging of visitors. The cattle and sheep have robust health policies which often surprise people - the animals have a vaccination programme just like children. The difference is of course that we have a selective breeding policy to improve calving ease and growth rate together with carcase and eating quality, this is achieved through a recorded programme of scanning and measuring weights.
This wonderful farm makes us more aware than ever how important it is to protect and enhance the environment. We consequently have a policy of reusing, recycling and minimising none sustainable inputs.
There are ancient bluebell woods together with new woodland plantings and many kilometres of new and renovated hedgerows. The river Ribble forms the southern boundary and there are two salmon spawning beds where salmon can be seen in November. There are a number of ponds, streams and ditches, some of which are we have formed.
There is a small dis-used quarry, stone from which was used to build the Chapel at Paythorne. Directly across the river is an ancient Bronze Age site indicating the strategic importance of the area as the entrance to the Aire Gap through the Peninnes. Windy Pike is listed in the Domesday Book and the farmhouse was modernised circa 1700!
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Wild Flowers in the spring - Bluebells, Orchids and Violets