top right photo
email link
latest news
frequently asked questions
home link dairy link tea room link school link animals link parties link shop link playbarn link field to farm link
pale spacer

Don't forget you can follow Lefty the cow on twitter @oldhollyfarmcow for all the latest gossip from the dairy herd

pale spacer
animals photo
animals photo
animals photo

The Courtyard Animals

In our inner Courtyard, Children (and adults alike!) are able to touch and interact with our animals, experiencing the sounds and smells of a small farm. All of our animals have been picked for their docile, friendly natures.

Scroll down to find out a little bit more about the rest of our animals>>>>

Important info about keeping safe during Farm visits

Old Holly Farm - encouraging you to have fun,

learn and play SAFELY
Following recent cases of E coli 0157 and other Zoonoses in petting farms, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with information on what it all means, how safe you are, precautions and our actions to protect you whilst visiting our farm.

Download our Advice leaflet here>>>

Zoonoses - What are they?

Any disease that can be transferred from an animal to human that causes illness.

All animals carry a range of micro-organisms, some of which can be transmitted to humans, where they may cause ill health – zoonoses. Some present a serious hazard and potentially cause severe disease, including Ecoli 0157.

What is E coli 0157?

E coli 0157 is an infectious illness which can be food or water borne. It is recognised initially by the symptoms. These can range from mild diarrhoea to severe bloody diarrhoea with abdominal pain. These symptoms can last for up to 2 weeks. In some extreme cases serious problems can occur including kidney failure.

There are no tests on live animals to prove it is free from Ecoli 0157, and it does not make the animal ill. It should be assumed that all ruminants (sheep, cows, goats and deer) carry Ecoli 0157.

How are zoonoses transferred from animals to humans?

It is caused by bacteria entering the body through the mouth usually from unwashed hands and infected food or drink. Only very low numbers of the bacteria need to be consumed to cause illness.

Possible routes of the infection are:

  • eating undercooked meat, particularly minced meat, often in the form of burgers.
  • drinking raw (green top) milk or treated milk that has become contaminated after it has been pasteurised.
  • contact with streams, ponds and similar watercourses.
  • drinking unchlorinated water
  • infection from pets and farm animals.

What about when I visit the farm?

At the entrance to the farm gate we have an information leaflet for you to take and read, it includes the information below. Don't forget that a big advantage of our farm is that you can still enter our Farm Shop, Cafe and Indoor Playbarn without visiting the animal areas. Plus as we don't charge an entrance fee to the farm, you are not missing out if you choose to avoid this area. Please remember however, that good personal hygiene should keep you safe when visiting these areas.

Please read before you visit our farm, thank you

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with WATER and SOAP after contact with any of our animals or pens, and before EATING
  • Running Water facilities can be found:
      1. Around the Courtyard area (3 separate locations)
      2. In the Courtyard Café toilets
      3. In the Classroom
      4. In the Playbarn
  • Hand Wash facilities can be found:
      1. At the Calf pen entry and exit
      2. All around the Courtyard
      3. At the entrance to the Playbarn

Before you leave the animal courtyard or farm,

It is NOT enough to just use the hand wash soaps,

please make sure you use our RUNNING WATER facilities


  • Children must be supervised whilst washing their hands, and facilities must be used properly
  • Eat in designated areas only – the Playbarn, Courtyard Café and on the outside seating area.
  • Do not feed our animals, as they are looked after by the team here at Old Holly Farm
  • Try to prevent small children putting their hands in their mouths
  • If a child has a toy, dummy or blanket with them please take extra care to keep them clean
  • Pregnant ladies are advised NOT to touch our sheep and lambs
  • As we do not charge an entrance fee to our farm, we request that you do not bring your own food and drink. Please note: you will be asked to pack away picnics.

We take great care in ensuring our facilities are kept clean and safe for everyone who visits our farm. However there will always be a risk through the very nature of our business and allowing people to interact with our animals.

Therefore we ask for your support when visiting our farm in keeping yourself safe by

following our advice and making use of the washing facilities available.

Are the hand gels enough?

No, you must use the running water facilities which are located around our farm. Hand gels will only kill up to 99.9% of bacteria, so if you have 1,000,000 germs on your hands you will still have 1,000 germs left after using the hand gels. It only takes 10's of the Ecoli 0157 bacteria to cause illness.

If I catch E coli 0157 or another Zoonoses, will I need treatment?

There is no specific treatment for this particular illness and the most appropriate medication will depend upon the symptoms being suffered. Your doctor will be able to advise you what is most appropriate in your case. It is however, important to drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of dehydration.

For more information, please follow the links which we think you will find useful:

Health Protection Agency info on handwashing>>

Health Protection Agency leaflet - avoiding ill health on open farms>>>

Wyre Borough Council>>

Nhs direct E coli facts>>

HPA Hand washing technique (child friendly)>>

Nhs Hand washing technique>>

Nhs cleanyourhands Campaign>>


Industry Code of Practice on Preventing or Controlling ill health from animal contact at visitor attraction (Summary Sheet)

Industry code of Practice - Advice to Teachers and others who organise visits for Children

Industry code of practice on preventing or controlling ill health from animal contact at visitor attraction (full edition - 65 pages)

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.


Meet our animals>>>


We are Paul and Spice, and we are the farm's Donkeys!

We live here all year round, but love giving children rides during the Summer months! Donkey rides run everyday from 11am during the Summer holiday

£3 a single ride and £5 for 2 rides in the animal paddocks.

*Weather permitting - our coats are not waterproof so unfortunately when it is wet and cold we can't wear our saddles as it rubs our skin and makes us unhappy.

Please check with us before you set off whether the rides will be taking place.

Please note: Old Holly Farm would like to remind parents/guardians that the safety and

well-being of their child / children is solely their responsibility. Old Holly Farm accepts no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or clothing that may be caused by donkey rides. Old Holly Farm reserve the right to refuse donkey rides if they feel the donkey or child may be at risk.

We are the farm's Goats!

We arrived at the farm in May 2012, and love our home in the courtyard.

We are Pygmy Goats and we are naturally small goats. We are known for being intelligent and we love human company, although we are a herd animal so we need to be together. We are also hardy, which means we are rarely ill so we don't need to see the vet very often. You will also see that we like to climb, which is why we have some logs to play on!

We are the Alpacas, and we visit the farm every Summer!

We come from a farm in Cockerham where there are more of us. We lovecoming to stay in the Old Holly paddocks - the cows always have a good nosey when we arrive! We look like small Llamas, but we are domesticated and are farmed for our wool. We are also herd animals so we are happiest when we are in a gang.

If you are interested in owning your very own Alpacas please call 07793081388.

We are the piglets!

We keep changing as we grow so quickly so the Old Holly team make sure we don't get too big for our pen

We live between the courtyard and the paddocks (depending on the weather!), and we love running around the field! We also love digging for roots and truffles, you will probably spot us with dirty snouts......although we're not that sure the Farmers love us digging, but its great fun!


Hello, I'm new to the farm and my name is Dexter

 I am a rare breed pig with a dwarf gene.

I'm new to the farm and arrived on the 3rd July 2015 from a family farm in Ormskirk.

I am now living in the courtyard sty next to the piglets and you may also spot me having an adventure in the front paddock, where I'll be having a dig. I'm very friendly and I'm looking forward to meeting everyone who comes to see me.


We are the farm sheep, and have grown up here since we were born in Spring 2010. We live in the new paddocks and have just had a "wool cut" (sheared).

calves picture
We are the farms Calves, and are part of the farms dairy herd which you can see being milked every day at 4.30pm. You can feed us by buying some calf feed from the shop - we love it!

We are the farm Chickens, we are VERY free range!!

You can taste our eggs in some of the food we serve in our cafes,

or why not take some home from our farm shop.

Petting Area

Our Petting area is designed for children to learn about small animals, and how to hold and care for them. This area is for parental supervision only, as the welfare of our animals is of the upmost importance. If anyone is found to be putting our animals at risk, or children are unsupervised they will be asked to leave the petting area. Please take care when entering or leaving our petting area pens.

We are the Rabbits and we are the farm chicks.



The Courtyard and the Animal Paddocks

are where we all live!

Father Christmas will be dropping his Reindeer

off again on the 1st December 2015

They will be staying with us in the animal courtyard getting their strength

up ready for Christmas Eve!


Please note: During the Reindeers stay there will be an entrance fee in place to enter our Animal courtyard.

This charge will also apply to our Playbarn customers.