A new ‘inclusive’ city farm in the pipeline for Ballymun

by Rachel Darcy

Plans are under way for a city farm to be established in Ballymun, just off Silogue Road.

A group of locals are spearheading a movement to bring the inclusive resource to the northside suburb, as part of Dublin City Council’s (DCC) local area plan for Ballymun.

Stephen Hayden, a member of the group behind the planning of the farm, spoke to Dublin Gazette about how the idea came to fruition.

He said: “It’s an entirely community-led initiative; a group of local residents came together about five or six years ago initially.

“We were looking at how we could use some of the green space that was underused in the area to introduce a facility that would be beneficial to everybody.

“We looked at the Local Area Plan, and focused on the strengths and assets in the community to come up with a project that would benefit Ballymun and the surrounding communities as well.”

Through subsequent work alongside DCC to identify a suitable site and create a blueprint, plans for The City Farm Ballymun are truly under way.

A 14 acre site has been selected that is bounded by Silogue Road, near two national schools, a creche and a local recreational centre.

Hayden also said they have been in communication with affordable housing developers regarding the potential of developing housing on the same site as the farm, to truly create a further sense of community.

One of the most important things for the group has been the conscious decision to design the farm and all surrounding amenities on the land to be fully accessible from the day that they open their gates to the public.

“The intention of the project is to be an educational resource for the city as a whole, not just Ballymun, for everyone.

“We want the project to have a community garden element, rare breed farm animals, a coffee shop, and a wheelchair-accessible nature walk.

“Our aim for the project is for it to be fully accessible to everybody; we on the committee are conscious of that.

“We have children or siblings with intellectual or physical challenges, and are conscious that we want the farm to be for everyone.

“Once we get sign-off, we intend to sit down with interest groups working with those with intellectual and physical disabilities to ensure that from day one, the needs of all are catered for.

“It will be a true community project,” he said.

Keep an eye on City Farm Ballymun’s Facebook page for further updates on the project.

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