Hi everyone, I am Xiwei. As a first-year biologist, I have lots of spare time and am always ready to explore around Sheffield. Once I went to Whirlow Hall farm and had a fun day. If you want to take a day off from the essays and enjoy nature, you can put Whirlow Hall Farm on you wish list after reading this blog.
I went to the farm with SUCV (Sheffield University Conservation Volunteering). First, we helped the staff to clean the nettle jungle around the farm to create a path for people to walk – God knows how many years the plants had been trying to expand their territory!
When an old couple walked past us, they stopped and said thank you to us for cleaning the grass. Their dog thanked us all in a much more exuberant way – a wet loving saliva kiss for everyone. This clearly encouraged the volunteers, so some students worked harder. Some even pulled their sleeves up, forgetting that nettles function like mosquitos on the skin, so every few minutes you would here a shout as someone got stung.
True, no pain, no gain. After the hard work, we were all invited to have a tour of the farm, and what can be more wonderful than sitting on the green grass, feeling the breeze brush your hair with a cup of hot tea or cuddly bunny in your hands? The farmer used a piece of lettuce leaf to play with the rabbit, but the spoiled bunny looked away. The farmer looked a bit annoyed at the rabbit’s attitude towards him.
Whirlow Hall Farm also had lots of sheep. The sheep were too busy eating and did not bother to look at us. But the goats, in contrast, gave us a warm welcome with their unique singing style. The place also has a good view: when I stood at the top of hill, I had the whole of Sheffield under my feet – I felt that I had all the power and was capable of everything, and clearly ignored the fact that I was chased by a bunch of Christmas turkeys just a few minutes ago.
The most amazing part of the tour was seeing the brown and white three-month old piglets. They ran towards us as soon as we opened the door and kept moving their noses, shaking their short curly tails, their little black eyes wbright with curiosity – it looked like, for them, new comers were more interesting than food.
So that was my fantastic day spent at Whirlow Hall Farm. There’s many ways to reach the farm. The 70 and 88 buses goes straight to there, but I would suggest you take a taxi if you are going with friends. Trust me, it’s not expensive at all if you split the fee within a group. If you want to volunteer at the farm, the volunteering office at Sheffield University provides opportunities at Whirlow Hall Farm – you can just drop by at Student Union at any time and have a look.