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Bay Farm Tours at Fordoun

Posted on: December 7, 2023, in News

In November, we had the pleasure of hosting Bay Farm Tours at Fordoun. This global organisation caters to farmers, their spouses, and those passionate about farming, offering a unique opportunity to explore the world with like-minded individuals. Bay Farm Tours has been a frequent visitor to Fordoun over the years and this was their first visit since the Covid-19 pandemic, so we were especially excited to welcome them back. Their itinerary, centered at Fordoun, was thoughtfully curated, drawing on Jon Bates’ local expertise.

Comprising 39 visitors from the UK, the group enjoyed local farm and cultural visits, guided by Jon. Jon’s intimate knowledge of the area adds a special touch to the exploration, always accompanied by entertaining anecdotes.

The farm visits included the Clifton Stud, a stud farm, where the owners warmly welcomed the group, providing invaluable insights into their practices. Another engaging visit was to Spring Meadow, a local dairy. As with the stud farm, the exchange was dynamic, with insightful questions and a meaningful dialogue.

Additionally, the group explored a cattle farm, gaining firsthand knowledge of the South African way. Each visit not only showcased the local agricultural practices but also facilitated an exchange of ideas and expertise between the tour group and the hosts.

HLANGANANI SCHOOL

A cultural highlight was the visit to Hlanganani School which has a long-standing history with Fordoun. Initially catering to farm workers’ children, it merged with another farm school, to become the beautiful school we know today. Fordoun’s ongoing support has helped it grow to accommodate approximately 150 learners, mostly from Mooi River, a 20-minute drive away.

One of the greatest challenges that the school faces is the cost of transport for the children to go from their homes to school. The cost per child per month is R450 which is beyond the means for most families in Mooi River. This is the first and most important monthly expense for the school. Despite this challenge, the school’s dedicated teaching staff ensures a nurturing environment and offers a solid foundation that children can be proud of and build on as they leave primary school and start their high school education. Many learners from the school attend the Shea O’ Connor Combined school for their high school years.

The school leadership, notably Head Katie Glomo and Pastor Zulu, who leads the choir, contributes to a dynamic and inspiring atmosphere. The choir’s recent second-place win among 13 schools highlights the students’ talents. Their singing on the day of the visit was stunning and left a lasting impression.

Despite challenges, such as the lack of a netball court and a less-than-ideal soccer pitch, the students thrive. This year’s netball team came first – true champions! The South African countryside provides a backdrop to their activities, fostering a sense of pride and community.

The day concluded with Jon sharing the success of Shea O’Connor’s partnership with a UK school, emphasising the enriching cultural exchange. He invited suggestions for potential primary school partnerships with Hlanganani School. Get in touch with us if you know of a primary school that would like to explore a partnership. Jon also thanked Bay Farm Tours for their support of the school and hoped that the visit demonstrated how valuable their contribution continues to be.

BAY FARM TOURS

The Bay Farm Tours group enjoyed a 21-day tour of South Africa, with some members returning to the UK after the South African leg and others continuing to Zambia to witness the majestic Victoria Falls. The tour group is accompanied by Eugene, the South African guide and Val, his UK counterpart.

Interested in finding out more, explore their website: https://www.bayfarmtours.co.uk/

What’s more, if you would like to bring a group to explore the farmlands around Nottingham Road, be sure to connect with us at Fordoun.

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