Women and girls from urban areas of Newcastle's west end are being reintroduced to their farming roots, thanks to a charity project.

West End Women and Girls Centre acquired a long-term lease on a National Trust smallholding near Scots Gap in rural Northumberland.

The site includes a farmhouse, barn, several outbuildings, a 30-metre polytunnel, and two large fields.

A £3,000 grant from the Newcastle Building Society Community Foundation Fund, at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, is helping to cover increasing transport costs, as well as assisting with the expansion of the farm's growing area.

Twice a week, participants get the opportunity to plant and grow crops, care for farm animals and share essential skills.

School holiday visits for girls ranging from five to 19 years old are also organised, offering day trips and residential visits.

Women and girls are able to take home the vegetables they have grown, while excess produce is given away at a free farmer’s market near the charity’s Elswick premises.

Jill Heslop, farm development manager at West End Women and Girls Centre, says: “Our members tell us just how important it is for them to be able to connect with outdoor green spaces, especially the many women and girls who have small scale farming in their background and heritage, and taking on the farm was our way of enabling them to do so.

“We’ve had women and girls aged from just five up to 83 years old visiting the farm, with everyone doing what they can to help out, and we often have several generations of the same families working side by side.

“While we’ve been able to grow and distribute huge amounts of produce, and are planning to do even more next year, the farm is about much more than that.

"We’re so thankful to Newcastle Building Society for helping us to cover our transport costs at a time when we’re looking to give as many people as possible access to this fantastic facility.”

Kate Myers, community assistant at Newcastle Building Society, said: “The farm is providing so many wonderful new opportunities for hundreds of women and girls, and we’re very glad to helping the charity maximise the numbers of people that they can take out into the countryside.”