A Place For Change.
Avon Wildlife Trust has owned and managed the 250-acre nature reserve since 1986. The Trust has now successfully restored the unspoiled 18th century buildings, to create a regional eco-friendly centre to provide cutting edge facilities and promote a better understanding of biodiversity and sustainable development, engaging with both the business community and the general public.
A historic-landscape survey of Folly Farm in 1992 revealed that the site was once a medieval deer park, and there are notable remnants of a 1780s ferme ornée, with much planting surviving from the 1820s.
A ferme ornée was a farm made for enjoyment as part of a large estate - in this case, Sutton Court. It would possess features such as paths laid along field boundaries, watercourses with cascades and pools and ornamental gullies. Elements of the ferme ornée are still visible today, and many of the features have now been restored.
Ownership of the buildings and nature reserve remain with Avon Wildlife Trust, but Folly Farm Centre Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary company, has been established to run and develop the Folly Farm Centre itself.