A MAJOR fundraising campaign has been launched to help keep Wirral's hugely popular Tam O'Shanter's farm running.

Project manager Josephine Wood MBE is treasurer, trustee and project manager for Tam O'Shanter Cottage Urban Farm Trust, which took over the running of the Bidston-based farm in November 2018 and at the time said it was entering a 'bright new era'.

This week it was revealed £85,000 needs to be raised to carry it through the next financial year.

The charity has plans to recreate the busy community hub of previous years, offer volunteer placements and work experience to young people - the socially-challenged, excluded and those in long-term unemployment.

Other plans including employing a full-time qualified and experienced volunteer manager to ensure volunteers are supervised, trained, valued and safe; the running of an education programme for all ages and a mental health well-being programme for those enduring low-level mental health anguish.

But in order to achieve all of this, the farm needs your help.

Appealing to our readers, Ms Wood told the Globe today: "If you have lived in Wirral for longer than a few weeks, you cannot have failed to hear about Tam O'Shanter Farm.

"If you have lived here your whole life you have probably played there as a child, taken your own children for days out and are now looking forward to taking your grandchildren.

"That's what we all want to do.

"But if we don't all work together, that's just not going to happen."

Ms Wood, whose father Harold Burns helped build Tam O'Shanter in the 1970s, continued: "We have worked tirelessly for 12 months to get our "ducks in a row" literally and metaphorically and now we are ready to move forward – but we can't move forward until we can stand still and right now, standing still is a big problem.

"In simple terms – there is no more money.

"The Farm has no income except that made by donation or sponsorship or by people fundraising on its behalf.

"The Farm has survived and people who care have come and gone but there has been no consistent way of working and no effective business plan.

"In November 2018, we set out to change all that.

"We were challenged to make the farm sustainable and self-supporting in 12 months.

"With extensive experience in charity and business management and with a team of experienced farm managers, we thought we could do this, but what a challenge we had taken on.

"With no investment over a long period of time, many areas of the farm had fallen into disrepair.

"Every bit of reserve has gone into setting up the new play area and bringing the farm up to standard in a variety of areas.

"Without support from all those who want the farm to continue, quite simply it won't."

Our new challenge is to get the building bricks in place by February.

"If the farm is to remain a managed facility, we need to raise in sponsorship or pledges a minimum of £85,000 to carry us through the next financial year.

"To deliver on all the projects we have in mind, we would need to raise £300,000 every year.

"But we need you to help us stand still because until we can prove we can exist – no one is going to fund us to develop.

"We are asking you to pledge to make a payment for 2020 so we can start the new financial year stable.

"Without enough pledges we can't continue.

"Once we have counted the pledges at the end of January, we will know what we can deliver in 2020.

"Only then will we be asking everyone to pay up.

"Please - for the sake of today's children and tomorrow's grandchildren – help us keep our farm open, free and safe."

To support the project, email TheFarm@pawprintswildlife.co.uk or call 0151-653-9332 and leave a message.