Feufield Is Music to Kim's Ears!
12 June 2012
NOT EVERYONE is lucky enough to have a job that they love, but there's no doubt that if you're truly passionate about something then you are more likely to be good at it.
By Lynsey Clark (Scottish Farmer)
Lanarkshire-based Kim Adam's main obsessions in life are animals, food and music – so it makes sense that she is now combining all three, within her 'mini farm' at Feufield, Symington, Biggar.
A visit to this recently opened spot will allow you to socialise with and learn about the animals; dine at the Llama's Larder; and browse or buy some home-made jams, chutneys, cakes and bakes, from the farm shop.
There's also poultry courses available and 'hen sitting' (for hen owners who are off on holiday), which are proving popular. Or, music fans may turn up simply to hear an impromptu song or two, as Kim doesn't just talk to her animals, she regularly sings to them too!
Originally from London, Kim has lived in Scotland for the past 23 years, and has worked in catering, hospitality and landscape gardening, before settling at Feufield and its five acres of surrounding ground. That's just enough room to accommodate Kim's 'family and friends', which include – to name but a few – Taz (the super terrier), Jessie (the duck), Roddy the Rhea, and of course the Llamas – Lorenzo, Olive, Paco and Wallace.
"We have more than 300 animals, each with their own characters and most have names. Take Raoul the turkey, he is in love with Pengu the guinea fowl," said Kim.
That may sound rather whacky, but that's all part of the charm at Feufield, where Kim hopes to teach children, in a fun way, the importance of respecting animals and caring for them properly.
"I never intended Feufield to be a visitor attraction, it was just my home. As the number of animals built up, passers-by started stopping for a look and coming in to see more. Eventually I decided to hold an open day and 500 people turned up, so that convinced me that it was worthwhile investing in further.
"We started a wee shop, selling tea/coffee and freshly laid eggs, then I started making my own decorated egg boxes to put the eggs in, and it has gradually expanded from there. We now have a café, the Llama's Larder, which can also be booked for parties or meetings, plus a shop, where we sell our home-made produce.
"We've built outdoor areas for the animals and try to keep them in as natural an environment as possible," explained Kim, who says she has always felt a real connection with animals.
"If you learn to understand animals' movement and demeanour, then you can work out what they are trying to say to you. It's important to be firm and teach them good manners, but if you respect them, then you get respect back," she added.
Kim cites 'Chance' the dog, as an example of how animals can be rehabilitated with sufficient love and understanding. He was mistreated as a pup and spent years in a dog home, afraid and distrustful of humans, before Kim slowly gained his trust and eventually brought him home to live at Feufield.
But Kim seems to bring out the softer side of all her animals. She says, through handling them every day, her Llamas don't spit and can in fact, be particularly affectionate creatures.
"Many children from the city have had little or no contact with animals and their natural reaction is to be frightened of them. Our animals are friendly and used to being handled, so the children can learn not to be scared."
Entry to Feufield is free and Kim has recently set up a charity, the Feufield Trust, through which she aims to create a sustainable haven for animals, while educating young people.
She is already accredited to take visits through the Royal Highland Education Trust, and longterm, she hopes to develop further buildings and create an outdoor style classroom on the grounds.
It's these grander plans which pushed Kim to raise funds by arranging a charity concert with Scottish singer Moira Kerr, last month. And, she has put her own singing talent to use, having recorded a CD, to sell in aid of the charity.
"I'm a huge fan of Moira Kerr, so I contacted her to ask if she'd be interested in doing a fundraising concert. Luckily, she agreed, and she came out to Feufield for a visit – it turns out she is an animal lover too, we have a lot in common," said Kim, who auditioned earlier in the year for ITV's Britain's Got Talent.
"I've always loved singing, it's a huge part of my life and I do it every day. I sing to the animals and they seem to like it! The Britain's Got Talent audition has been great publicity for Feufield and I'll do anything to raise funds for the Trust.
"We have a lot of volunteers who come and help out, but we've also just managed to secure funding for four paid positions. Now that we have charity status, there's a lot of extra work and we need to be bringing in money to keep it all going.
"But, I know now what our purpose is and what I want to achieve at Feufield – our priority is having fun, but there's a serious message behind it," added Kim.