Just a stone-throw away from Brick Lane’s hustle and bustle you’ll find Spitalfields City Farm. With The Overground running past, you’ll find all the usual farm animals from goats and pigs to geese and ducks.
Like many of the other city farms in London it opened in the 1970s (’78 to be precise), built on a wasteland site. The land was first being used as allotments for local people with the animals arriving several years later. In many ways, the farm is continuing a long tradition of backyard farming in the East End. Today, Spitalfields is a community farm bustling with all types of activities for young and old. It’s free of charge for anyone to enter, which means it’s dependent on volunteers and donations to operate.
Spitalfields Farm and the local community
Rather than being a tourist attraction, Spitalfields farm is all about the connection with the local community. Volunteers are helping staff organise a wide range of activities such as gardening, growing food, farm maintenance as well as support during special events. The Youth Volunteer group for children 13-18 is probably the most popular, with sessions running every Sunday.
Focus on animal care and welfare
Their strong focus on animal care and welfare are evident everywhere on the farm as you see how staff interact with animals. The farm is well maintained, with excellent washroom facilities available. You can also visit the farm shop where you can buy homegrown, seasonal vegetables.
Overall, our impression of the farm is really positive. We are very fond of animals and were pleased to see pens with plenty of space for animals looking healthy and happy, treated well by staff. Spitalfields is really a gem of a farm in a concrete jungle, so make sure you contribute with what you can whether buying some of their produce, donating or volunteering!
Spitalfields Farm is part of a cluster of urban farms in East London with Hackney Farm and Stepney Farm as the closest ones. See our map of London farms to plan your day! Sunday is market day in East End and we often start at Columbia Road Flower market and work our way down towards Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market. A bit further east you can enjoy an Olympic swim in London’s Aquatics Center. Greenwich is also not too far away, offering a range of family-friendly attractions and activities such as the Maritime Museum and Greenwich Park Playground.