Acton Scott Historic Working Farm was the vision of Thomas Acton who established the museum to demonstrate historic farming techniques. The hit BBC series 'Victorian Farm' was filmed at Acton Scott in 2008 and brought its magic to a worldwide audience. The site has been operated by Shropshire Council, as tenants of the Acton Scott Estate, since the 1970s.
In order to find a financially sustainable future for the Farm Shropshire Council launched a public engagement exercise in February 2022 with key stakeholders including the Friends of Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, the local community and the education and heritage skills sector. After careful consideration, it was decided that the best course of action was to surrender the lease back to the Estate, and this was finalised in April 2023.
The Estate are currently making significant repairs and improvements to the site. A new not-for-profit organisation is being established which plans to operate Acton Scott Heritage Farm in spring 2024.
You can find more information in our FAQ section below. Updates will be posted on our social media channels. Please follow us to ensure you don't miss anything!
If you need to get in touch directly, please email [email protected].
Thank you for your patience. We hope to see you at the site in the new year.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I visit?
The new not-for-profit organisation hopes to open Acton Scott Heritage Farm to visitors in spring 2024. A more specific date will be released nearer the time and regular updates will be posted on social media.
What's happening now?
The Estate is investing in significant repairs and improvements to the site. We're fixing leaking roofs, woodworm infestations, drainage issues, fencing, gates, weeds, asbestos, the blacksmith's forge, the threshing barn floor and much more! We're working as quickly as we can to get the site open to visitors again.
What happening to the animals?
We are proud to be a Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) accredited farm. This means that we look after and breed animals which are not commonly found in the UK anymore. It takes a lot of work to establish a rare breed collection, so the Estate has decided to purchase the Dairy Shorthorn Cattle, the Shropshire Sheep and poultry from Council and then hand them to the new not-for-profit organisation when the time comes. In the meantime, they will be looked after with love and care.
What about the horses?
The two Black Shires, Alfie and William, have been on loan to the Museum, and these have now been returned by Shropshire Council to their owner.
We have considered very carefully whether to purchase Joe, the older Shire. However, we have concluded that due to his old age it would be better for Joe to reitre and we understand that Shropshire Council has found a suitable place for him. He will start this well earned retirement in early May, and until that time he is grazing with our old Belgian Draft Horse, Smiler.
Sweet old Dusty the donkey is well past retiring and is now with equine and human companions elsewhere. We thank them for caring for him.
It is certainly our wish and expectation that working Heavy Horses will be a part of the future here. We are undertaking substantial repairs and maintenance to ensure that everything is in a safe condition for livestock as well as visitors.
What about the Historic Farm Machinery?
Most of the machinery, or 'The Collection' as it's known, belongs to Shropshire Council. We are in the process of signing a loan agreement to ensure that the majority of this remains on site for the benefit of the public.
Are you offering courses?
Whilst the new not-for-profit will offer a programme of courses when the site reopens in Spring 2024, for now the site remains closed. Updates on courses will be released on social media.
Can I help in any way?
Yes! There is a lot of work to do on the site, from gardening to maintenance. If you are interested in volunteering at Acton Scott Working Farm please fill in our application form below.
If you have experience which could be useful to the new not-for-profit organisation, or if you're interested in supporting the future of Acton Scott Heritage Farm by way of a donation or legacy, please email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you.