More about our Monk Park Children's Farm Park
Monk Park, once a haven for the monks, is now a children’s Farm Park paradise. In the 1990s it wasn’t like you see it today. It was a farm that stood derelict for 50 years with fallen walls and crumbling sheets of zinc at the windows blocking out the rain. It all began with our farm at Balk where we had a dairy herd of jersey cows and a milk round. There are two caravan parks in the village and the children from them used to come and watch and help the cows being milked. One day it struck us, why don’t we open a Children’s Farm and Farm Visitor Centre - especially as we are on the main route to the North Yorkshire Heritage Coast?
Livestock started to arrive; longhorn cattle, highland cattle from Oban in Scotland, belted galloways, fallow deer and rheas, the play/picnic area was built, and in the early days we had a mobile toilet block and a catering van for a cuppa and bacon sandwich. We opened the gates in May 1999 and, after the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001, we re-opened the farm in April 2002 and received 22,000 visitors. Soon our little tearoom was packed to the rafters - so from 2003-04 we extended it into a 100-seater tearoom and we modernised the kitchen. In 2006 we built an ice cream kiosk and gift shop and now currently have 60,000 visitors a year.