La ferme du Champ du Loup, Lobbes
A hot summer’s day, a traditional farm tucked away in the hills of Lobbes and… a cheerful and playful bunch of children, staying over on a summer camp to discover life on the Ferme du Champ du Loup (Wolf Field Farm)! Over the years, Grace and Benoît, who own the dairy farm, have diversified. Over the last 10 years, they have been organising educational activities.
Camps throughout the summer…
Poke your nose around the farm’s courtyard during the summer months and you are likely to find yourself face to face with some children caressing a rabbit, feeding the chickens or finding out how to milk the cows. Each week, for 7 consecutive weeks, the farm welcomes around 40 children aged between 2.5 and 12 (previously this number stood at 50, although this has been reduced due to the current Covid restrictions).
On the programme: feeding the animals (chickens, ducks, geese, quails, turkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, ponies, horses, cows, etc.: that’s a lot of mouths to feed), cookery activities using fresh farm produce (making bread, pancakes, biscuits, etc.), learning how to milk cows, going on tractor rides, etc. There is plenty to pique the kiddiewinks’ interest.
Grace and Benoît also welcome children during the other school holiday periods, except for the Christmas holiday season.
Psychomotor education with ponies
Grace has specialised in équimotricité© or equine-assisted psychomotor education, an activity which she also performs with the children attending the camp. During these sessions, two children and one pony get to know each other very much by themselves, in that they are left to their own devices. One child – the pacemaker – leads the pony whilst walking beside the animal, whilst the other child – the rider – sits on the pony’s back. The threesome make their way around an obstacle course, performing a number of gentle drills.
Plenty of activities throughout the year
The educational farm also opens its gates during the year to welcome schools and families. As such, children get to join in during the ‘Farm Wednesdays’ each week, participate in the equine-assisted psychomotor education (équimotricité©) sessions or enjoy a leisurely ride on a pony[MB1] . Guests can also come to celebrate their birthday amongst the animals, or freely visit the farm using the maps and didactic panels dotted around the site or accompanied by a guide.
Ferme du Champ du Loup is also about yummy products
Made from milk produced on the spot, the farm shop sells butter, various types of cheese, yoghurts, cream, home-made ice cream, as well as eggs and other products such as Ervka coffee (click here to see report). Grace tells us that the shop has really taken off during the lockdown, with several new customers who have remained loyal to this day (click here to see our interactive map of local producers).
A family-run smallholding
More than anything else, Ferme du Champ du Loup is a family affair – even more so after Grace, who trained as a teacher, joined the family farm after meeting the man who would eventually become her husband. She was keen to develop the educational opportunities the farm had to offer in order to diversify the range of activities. The first children she welcomed as campers 10 years ago have come back year after year and now help out running the camps
La ferme du Champ du Loup
Rue du Champ du Loup, 14