Home' Northern Outlook : August 29th 2012 Contents 5
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, AUGUST 29, 2012
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Resilient farm park to open again
Positive thoughts for good summer after quakes and mud
By RACHEL MACDONALD
CUDDLE TIME: Wee Dram Farm Park
owner Karen Findlay shares a hug
with three-year-old red deer Luke. The
Fernside attraction opens for the
summer season on Sunday.
FERNSIDE S WEE Dram Farm
Park opens for the summer on
Sunday -- weather permitting --
and owner Karen Findlay has her
fingers crossed that for the first
time since launching the enter-
prise at the end of 2010, she will
actually manage a full season of
She dreamed up the idea of a
farm park after nannying in Lon-
don and realising that not all chil-
dren were brought up as she had
been, surrounded by animals.
She wanted to offer an on-site
farm experience that allowed
people to get up close and per-
sonal with the animals in a
friendly and safe working environ-
We wanted to show children
what goes on on a farm and to let
them enjoy all kinds of animals.
She said even many local farm
kidsdid not get much contact with
many animals beyond cows or
sheep and dogs.
Here we have ponies, ducks,
donkeys, goats, pigs and giant
rabbits, among many others.
However, it s not been all
smooth running for the Wee Dram
since Karen and her husband
Jason came down from Auckland
to set up the park three years ago.
They had planned to open in Sept-
ember 2010, but the earthquake
put an end to that.
They did manage to get under
way in November of that year, but
the February 2011 quake saw
them close the gates again.
We were asked to take in a lot
of animals for the next few
months and look after them for
In particular, we cared for pets
that had been stranded in the red
zones, where nobody could get in
to feed and comfort them.
She tried to open the farm again
in November 2011, but gave up
after the December 23 shake last
Now, we ve been closed for the
winter, with all the mud, and I
just really hope we get an uninter-
rupted summer season in 2012,
welcoming visitors to the country
and to our huge animal family.
You can find out more about the
Wee Dram Farm Park at:
weedramfarm.co.nz or visit Fridays
and Sundays, 10am till 4pm, at
492 Oxford Rd, Fernside.
Emily West started Oxford Area
School on August 21.
Alex Ellerm started in room 13 at
Ashgrove School on his birthday, on
project moves closer
By RACHEL MacDONALD
SUPPORTERS OF the Cust
Museum managed to raise
another $3640 towards its new
extension at a recent sold-out
Scared Scriptless evening in
The event was organised by the
Oxford and Districts Lions.
The Lions then went further for
the museum, generously rounding
the amount up to $5000 and
officially handing over the cheque
at its meeting last week in the
Cooper s Creek hall.
The fundraising comes on top of
other efforts by the museum
community over the last year,
along with donations, a $10,000
bequest and a $40,000 Canterbury
Community Trust grant.
The project, which will add
almost 52 square metres to the
existing museum area, is close to
It will be delivered under
budget at an estimated $70,000.
We ve had amazing support
from the community, Cust and
Districts Historical Records
Society chairman and archivist
Bernard Kingsbury said.
Most of the new plumbing has
been supplied and installed for
free, and the painting was also
achieved through donated product
The builders have given us
trade rates, too.
It s been remarkable.
Unfortunately, it is likely to be
closer to November before the
museum s volunteers know when
they will be able to gain access to
the road-front end of the building.
Once the former Waimakariri-
Ashley Water Supply Board office,
it suffered structural damage in
the earthquakes over the last two
It has yet to be assessed by
Waimakariri District Council
The museum opened in 1990
and attracts around 600 visitors a
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