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Meon Valley MP visits Butser Ancient Farm


  • Author: Rachel Bingham Butser Ancient Farm
  • Published: 31st July 2020
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Meon Valley MP visits Butser Ancient Farm 

Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond visited Butser Ancient Farm this week for a tour of the ancient buildings and landscape, alongside a discussion of the current challenges and opportunities faced at this unique heritage site just three miles from the centre of Clanfield. 

 Butser Ancient Farm, which reopened to pre-booked visitors on July 4th and has 'We're Good to Go' accreditation from Visit England, was a hive of activity on a beautiful summer's day, with visitors meeting the new baby goats, watching thatching and ancient skills demonstrations, and exploring the reconstructed ancient homes and buildings. However, after coming out of three months of lockdown, with a subsequent total loss of income during what would have been the farm's busiest time of the year, it is facing a challenging time ahead. 

 With the announcement this week that the new Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is now open for applications, the visit was a fantastic opportunity for Flick to discuss the government's support package for the struggling arts and heritage sector. 

 Farm directors Maureen Page and Simon Jay were able to highlight their concerns and hopes for the future as Flick offered her support to any application the farm makes to the Recovery Fund. 

 Director Maureen Page said “As Butser approaches its 50th year of opening it has been very difficult for us to close for such a long period of time. We love to welcome visitors to explore the ancient past with us and usually host hundreds of school children each week to be inspired about ancient life. This in turn helps to fund our ongoing archaeological research work, enabling us to build and experiment with exciting new interpretations of ancient life, and continue our community wellbeing and volunteering programmes. We are anxious to continue this important work and need all the support we can get in order to do so” 

 Butser Ancient Farm usually welcomes over 35,000 school children to the Farm every year for a hands-on experience of ancient life. School children take part in a range of practical activities within the reconstructed buildings, representative of homes from the Stone Age, Iron Age, Roman and Saxon periods. 

 Although school trips are permitted to resume from September, there is still uncertainty over coach travel and the way in which schools will be able to travel to locations such as Butser Ancient  Farm. With many attractions and educational centres facing similar issues, and coach travel companies also struggling, the visit was a valuable opportunity to raise these concerns. Flick will be able to represent and highlight these issues in ongoing government discussions.

 With experience on the board of governors for a local school, Flick's interest in education and practical learning was a great match for Butser Ancient Farm, who pride themselves on their inclusive, hands-on approach to education and learning. Indeed, Flick was able to see and discover Bronze Casting in action, traditional thatching techniques in use and rare-breed goats being milked, all during her tour of the farm...all in a day's work at Butser Ancient farm!

 As an independently funded, not-for-profit organisation, Butser Ancient farm relies on visitor income and donations to support their work. If you would like to visit and support them over the summer, they are currently open from Wednesday to Sunday for pre-booked visitors. Find out more and book tickets at www.butserancientfarm.co.uk





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More about Butser Farm here:- http://www.clanfieldonline.com/82/227/butser-ancient-farm


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