Bates Farm is a family-run farm, based in Risley Warrington on the Cheshire-Lancashire border. The Wilshaw family have been farming the area since the 1940s, when Fiona and Alison’s grandfather first developed the farm.
Since then, it has been run by their father, Michael, for the past 30 years. The family has recently diversified to offer family experiences including lambing experience days, farm tours and pumpkin picking.
This year, for Halloween, the Wilshaws decided to do something a little different.
The power of pink pumpkins
Fiona and Alison are selling pink pumpkins for £8 each in aid of Cancer Research in support of their dad, Michael, who sadly passed away last week.
Michael was diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago and was well-known for his charity work. His cancer had worsened over the past 12 months, meaning Fiona has taken over the running of the family farm at the age of 24 along with her sister Alison.
“It’s nice to continue Dad’s fundraising for Cancer research as he did lots of fundraising for many years auctioning turkeys at Christmas where he raised hundreds of pounds," Fiona explained.
"Cancer Research was a charity close to our Dad’s and now our hearts, and we will continue to grow and sell pink pumpkins for this amazing charity.”
The power of the pink pumpkin has already been well supported by the public – so far the family have raised nearly £5000, adding that they have felt overwhelmed with the love and support.
The family has been growing pumpkins for 15 years, since Fiona and Alison were 13 and 14 years old, planting this year’s crop in April before moving them to the field in the middle of May.
“Cancer Research was a charity close to our Dad’s and now our hearts, and we will continue to grow and sell pink pumpkins for this amazing charity.”
NFU member Fiona Wilshaw
“Dad lived and breathed his farm and loved animals and agriculture,” said Fiona. “It’s been nice to be able to continue his charity efforts and raise money in his memory.”
Fiona shares her father’s passion for farming and has recently completed the NFU’s Farmers for Schools training, ready to deliver assemblies to schoolchildren and educate the next generation on the joys of farming.
You can find out more about Bates farm and how to buy one of their pink pumpkins at: batesfarm.co.uk.