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Project information

Gosling Sike Farm - explore, learn, grow

A small farm delivering big benefits for people; improving health and well-being through food growing and access to green space, sharing skills to encourage more people to take action for nature and to bring people from different backgrounds together.

January 2017 - December 2020

Charity information: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust logo
  • Need


    The future of our natural world is under threat as there is an immediate skills gap in our sector of traditional land management skills and specialist wildlife knowledge.

    Opportunities to encourage young people into this sector have declined significantly as funding cuts have hit organisations and services.

    Opportunities for young people in Cumbria to gain these skills are scarce, yet there is a demand from young people to work in our sector.


    - provide opportunities for young people in the fields of food, farming & conservation.
    - offer work experience, undertaking projects where they live, volunteering, apprenticeships, or formal training courses.
    - give volunteers somewhere to thrive, gain new skills, learn as they go & pass on their knowledge to another generation.
    - bring together the local community with programme of events
    - provide the vulnerable & disadvantaged with a safe place where they can interact & gain knowledge

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build a training centre for environmental volunteering & training with young people in Carlisle.


    » Involve young people in discussing the use of the building & its design.
    » Involve young people in exploring the things which make a building ‘green’, thereby learning about it’s environmental sustainability.

    What success will look like

    Success will be:
    >The centre will have been successfully built with the input of young people in its design.

    Aim 2

    Deliver an effective programme of learning opportunities & training for young people & volunteers.


    » Employ two project officers to deliver our training programmes with partners.
    » Provide accredited training opportunities in a programme designed to meet the needs of young people aged 11-25 years.
    » Work with groups including mental and physical health groups to provide a safe place for people to interact and to gain confidence.
    » Nature is of huge importance in our everyday lives. We aim to provide access to nature to positively benefit to mental & physical health.

    What success will look like

    Success will be
    >By 2020, 517 young people delivering 69 environmental projects in their community. A further 500 young people have benefited from volunteering & skills training.

  • Impact


    The project will contribute to meeting the skills gap in our sector and will provide opportunities to young people to help get them ‘work ready’. Young people will be supported to make the move into employment in our sector.

    This is a long-term project as it will provide the infrastructure we need to deliver our work now and long into the future.

    We will monitor all our activity and will also monitor the progress of young people once they have left our training and volunteering programmes.


    The main risk is that we do not raise the money needed for the build. The Trustees of Cumbria Wildlife Trust have addressed this risk by allocating 50% of the money needed from our own resources.

    We will work in partnership with Susan’s Farm and Carlisle City Council. Although there are risks within any partnership, this partnership is strong with all involved being very committed to this project in the long-term.


    Supporters will receive regular e-mail updates and will be invited to key events at the site to celebrate the successes of our young people and the opening of the new centre.

    We will also include information on our website, in our magazine and in press releases.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £416,558

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £250,000 Building and kit out Building and kit out
      £9,358 Tools and equipment Tools, training, protective wear, health and safety equipment, coat hooks and welly storage
      £46,000 Potting shed and workshop Potting sheds, green house, workshop (with green roof), bird hides, benches/seating
      £55,000 Staffing Initially for one year
      £50,000 Habitat and garden creation inc orchard, sensory garden, wildflower areas, good growing, pond
      £6,200 Activities & mileage Inc. volunteer let activities for the community and volunteer mileage costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Own resources, legacies £100,000 Guaranteed
    Bernard Sunley £5,000 Guaranteed
    Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust £50,000 Guaranteed
    Donations from individuals £35,051 Guaranteed
    Cumbria Community Foundation £7,350 Guaranteed
    Charitable Trusts (wish to be anonymous) £46,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Carlisle, Cumbria, is the largest city in England by area. 101,000 people live here & one third of the population live in rural wards.

    According to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation in England, Carlisle is placed 108 out of 354 districts, with one being the most deprived district.

    24.2% of the Carlisle population are in the neighbourhood classification: “Wealthy Achievers”. However, 26.1% are in the “Hard Pressed” category, highlighting the socio-demographic diversity of Carlisle.


    The main beneficiaries will be:
    - young people aged 11-25 years
    - vulnerable and disadvantaged groups
    - people in the local community
    - the elderly.

    We will also involve volunteers, partner organisations and communities both in life on the farm and in working with young people in their own local communities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Gosling Sike Farm was gifted to Cumbria Wildlife Trust to continue as a an educational resource.

    We have a very successful track record with community projects and training programmes. 80% of our trainees into employment in the sector.

    Our organisational aim is to protect wildlife for the future. We believe this project will deliver our aim by addressing the skills gap.

    We have the capacity, expertise, track record and existing partnership for successful delivery.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Peter Bullard - Director

    Peter is the Director of the Trust and has been in post for over 20 years, originally as a nature reserves officer. He will oversee the project.

    Staff - Rob Davies And Jamie Normington

    Rob is the Facilities Manager and will oversee the construction of the training centre. Jamie is a qualified teacher and will lead the training team.


    Our Trustees are people with a wide range of expertise including financial, nature conservation and people engagement. They have approved the work.

    Fundraising Team

    We can only undertake the project if we secure the money. Our fundraising team is responsible for this.

Giving young people opportunities

Giving young people opportunities

"We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945)