Thrings Meets... Bath City Farm

Thrings meets Bath city farm

Thrings Solicitor Jake Wennen meets Brendan Tate Wistreich, Director of Bath City Farm


Jake Wennen: Bath City Farm is not your usual farm. Can you tell us a little more about it?

Brendan Tate Wistreich: We’re a farm and charity based in Whiteway and Twerton for almost 30 years, using our unique setting to not just create produce, but to improve wellbeing and transform lives for people of all ages and abilities.

JW: You’ve been here for some time then, but the land itself has been used for agriculture for quite a lot longer hasn’t it?

BTW: It has! This land has centuries of history having been farmed during medieval times and there is even evidence of a Roman settlement nearby. It is actually referenced in the Domesday Book and we have six fields that still reference their Anglo-Saxon names!

JW: So how has it evolved to what it is today?

BTW: When we formed in 1995, we adopted the values that the city farm movement was built on back in the 1970s, giving inner-city children a place to experience the countryside, addressing issues of poverty and forming a sense of community around nature, food and farming.

While the role of city farms has adapted with society over the years, they’re still relevant for supporting those who are disadvantaged to build new skills and self-confidence whilst bringing people into closer connection with the natural environment.

Over the years, the Farm has also stepped up to support people through the pressing issues of our time, whether that is helping ease the strain of mental health problems through being in a safe space or providing a service to support people through the cost of living crisis.

JW: It is clear that you have one of the best views of Bath here but what are the other features of the farm that people can enjoy whilst visiting?

BTW: We’re free to visit, and people come all year round to meet our animals and enjoy our green spaces as they go for a walk along our nature trail. We opened our amazing new café last year which has become incredibly popular for having a coffee or enjoying lunch whilst looking out over the city.

We also hold workshops throughout the year, helping people to develop skills around horticulture, endangered crafts and wildlife conservation, and host a wide range of events including our recent Autumn Fayre, with plenty of activities and games for everyone to enjoy.

JW: And what kind of projects do you run?

BTW: We try to offer something for all ages and abilities so there’s quite a range on offer, such as horticulture and animal therapies to support mental health and healthy cooking classes to help improve culinary skills and understanding around healthy diets.

Our Roots to Work programme has helped people who are long-time unemployed, with a work placement opportunity that helps them to reskill and build confidence. For some this has been what helped them in finding a job, which is always rewarding to see.

As you can imagine, running such a wide range of programs can be quite demanding and we have doubled our staff over the past two years to meet the demand for our services. Most of our

employed team are from the local area, many who have previously volunteered and even some who were previously service users. Being able to help people on their journey is brilliant and we are proud of every member of our team!

JW: What does the future look like for Bath City Farm?

BTW: We want to continue focusing on our therapeutic and education work. This includes growing the number of projects we offer and partnering with more local organisations to collaborate on tackling bigger issues.

There is also a lot more we can be doing to tackle the climate crisis. We have a local ecologist as part of the team who has recorded more than 1,200 species across our 37-acre site. Whilst that is amazing, we know there is more we can do to help increase biodiversity.

Over the coming months and years, we have planned to regenerate our grassland and create new habitats for pollinators. We’ve recently planted an orchard with 175 fruit trees, and this year will plant a nuttery and wildflower nursery. It’s going to be amazing to watch these spaces grow and be enjoyed by local people for years to come.

To find out more about Bath City Farm, visit


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