Published: 16 April 2013



The Rare Breeds Centre at Woodchurch welcomes thousands of visitors each year and is proud to be able to offer them plenty to do, including lots of places where children can play.

When Sally Collett visited with her young son, Adam and his friends they all had a great time and she wrote to say so. However, she pointed out that there was little or no equipment in the various playgrounds which was suitable for children in a wheelchair or with limited mobility.

‘This is something we’d long wanted to add to what we already offer our visitors’ explained Gill Gibb, Chief Executive of Canterbury Oast Trust, the charity that runs the Rare Breeds Centre. ‘We have taken great care over the years to ensure that most parts of the site have fully accessible paths and that activities such as our ever-popular pig racing and Meet the Animals sessions can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their level of ability. The only thing that prevented us from installing the play equipment was money.’

The team at the charity are always keen to respond to customer concerns and decided to launch an appeal to raise £25,000 to purchase play equipment that could be enjoyed by all children, whether they have a disability of not. Mike Angell, Kent County Councillor, Ashford Rural South, provided a grant while other donations were made by Hitrade, a charity shop in Sidcup which supports Canterbury Oast Trust and by a husband and wife team who run ‘Problematic Pop’ music quizzes to raise funds for the charity.

The successful appeal enabled four pieces of equipment to be installed, at least one piece in each of the play areas. So now visitors will find a roundabout, swings and a musical sensory area, adding to the fun for everyone.  This is only the beginning of the story because the staff have made a decision to ensure that, as far as possible, every new activity at the Rare Breeds Centre will be fully inclusive so that visitors such as Adam can get the most from their time at the farm. So come and visit us, you know you’ll get a warm welcome!


For more information about Canterbury Oast Trust visit www.c-o-t.org.uk and the Rare Breeds Centre visit www.rarebreeds.org.uk

Picture shows Adam Collett and his friend Jamie Ponte enjoying the new accessible play area.