|Pigs Can Fly!|
Situated high on the Southern bank of the mighty river
Tyne, Bill Quay Community Farm opened in 1986 and is a
partnership between the farm and Gateshead Council. The
farm team has transformed this 25-acre site into a thriving
community leisure project and much of the work to restore
the natural heritage to one of the greenest banks on
Tyneside, has been achieved by volunteers.
Over time the landscape has been transformed back to its pre–industrial condition and there is now an impressive rural/urban panorama visible from the top of the hill where the farm nestles. Bill Quay is a rare Breed Survival Trust and is home to Tamworth pigs, Scots Grey Chickens, Jacobs Sheep and the Bagot goat. Bagot goats are a very old English breed but they are a bit nervous and not great for milk or meat and so they became unpopular and are now critically endangered.
|Nervous – moi?|
The farm’s Longhorn cattle and sheep tour Gateshead’s nature reserves to improve these sites for wildlife, and are regular attendees at local community festivals. They also compete with the best at national shows. Ruby the Tamworth pig, won female champion at the Royal Show in 2005 and Great Yorkshire Show in 2010.
The farm and its location has inspired many local artists and there are artworks dotted around the farm including the Flying Pig Tree and Sally Matthews Goats made out of scrap metal. Quite appropriate as Gateshead takes it name from ‘Goats Head’ or’Goats Headland’ as apparently it was where goats did roam!