We are a small family run farm which has been in the Sunderland area since 18th century. Over the years the family has been involved in many types of farming from milking Friesian cows, growing potatoes, crops and rearing cattle. Only 20 years ago, Down at the Farm was still a large cattle enterprise run by the Weightman family with over 400 Limousin cows.
In 2007 the main cow field was converted into the farm park we have today. Our mission has always been to keep things as simple and as natural as possible so that new generations can experience the same wild spaces that we did when we were younger! Everything is based outdoors so please bear this in mind when you visit. We have lots of outdoor spaces for visitors to enjoy and in the summer months there are lots of picnic areas and quieter places to sit away from the crowds.
We are an outdoors, seasonal attraction which changes according to the farming calendar and time of year. Our main season runs between February to October each year – we close every winter. We have a wide variety of farm animals to see, from sheep, cattle, donkeys, and pigs. We have lots of play areas to make your day even more fun!
We also have a small collection of non native species of animals such as Reindeer, Snowy owls, Meerkats, Raccoons & Reptiles. In doing so, we hold a zoo license which ensures that we meet the required welfare standards for these animals. Please see our animals page for more information on specific species.
We are also undertaking conservation projects to encourage wild birds to come back and nest at the farm, as well as re developing pond areas to encourage wildlife habitats. Our original tree planting schemes which started in 2000 are now starting to mature, bringing back a whole host of wildlife from herons to kestrels, moorhens, owls & insects. We also believe that by allowing specific areas of the park to be left in a wild state, they will help more habitats to form and encourage wild deer, hares and other amazing local wildlife – 2020 was an incredible year for attracting a more diverse range of wildlife and we hope to build on this for future generations.
We are open every weekend and school holiday until 31st October!