Thank-you for visiting us today to find out what happens Behind The Stable Door!

Here on our family farm we want to include others more with our farm activities, we work mainly (but not exclusively) with people who have an identified social need. We would love to share our farm experiences with you, but more importantly we hope you will get involved as well

         "Our work Behind The Stable Door

          Has social involvement at its core."     

If you want to know more about the history of Behind The Stable Door click on the link below:                                      

What happens at our Social Farm?

Since we started Behind The Stable Door we do not like to exclude anybody from attending our farm, for the majority our participants attend on a referral basis. The reason for this is to make sure they get the best out of their sessions with us and they are supported according to their needs.  

 Read More 

Can You help us with our "Cash for Trash" campaign?

Our new project to make shredded animal bedding out of waste egg cartons was to be a very exciting addition to our Behind The Stable Door family! Sales of our bedding support our persons with social needs with employment opportunities so that they could provide customers in Northern Ireland with a fantastic recycled animal bedding made from our own waste!  This bedding is made exclusively out of unused wasted egg cartons (seconds that come direct from the manufacturing plant), and our social farmers were going to shred it and bag it to make fantastic absorbent and comfortable animal bedding for our beloved pets! Watch the video below to see how this is done:


We were offered a grant to aid the costs for a commercial machine (80%) to recycle egg cartons into animal bedding, and to create jobs for our special needs adults and work experience for special needs children. This was to be the biggest thing to ever have happened to the social farm and we really thought it would put us in a strong position to be self-sufficient going forwards:

We were so excited about this project that recycles local waste and creates social employment and inclusion at the same time, what could be better than this?!

Sadly this euphoria to get a grant for this project wasn't to last long and our euphoria turned into a real nightmare when it came to getting our licences to get our project up and running, read on!

 SWOT Analysis Chart 2



Unfortunately because our social enterprise is in Northern Ireland we are being forced to spend nearly £8,500 on licence costs to get our animal bedding project up and running.  If we where based in England, Scotland or Wales the licence costs would be free, yes you read this correctly, FREE, FREE, FREE, NADA, ZERO, NOTHING! Sadly we have discovered we are not a United Kingdom in this case and we have the misfortune of living in Northern Ireland with a lot more obstacles in the way to recycle our local waste. Recycled animal bedding is readily available for sale from England,  because it's easy for them to do it, but we have customers here in Northern Ireland ready and willing to buy our bedding, keeping our local waste from having to travel out of NI and rehoming it on our doorstep! We can buy shredded egg cartons from England, and use it for our pets and animals here, we just can't make it here because the current legislation won't allow us to!  We need to make this change this for community group that wants to be able to do something with waste, environmental change starts on our doorstep!


Currently our waste has to travel to outside of Northern Ireland (creating more carbon footprint and landfill). NI businesses are being put off with all this licencing protocol and expenses, understandably! Imagine how much we can cut this waste figure by allowing us to do what we can without the burden of such hefty licencing protocol:


Coming out of a pandemic £8,500 to give to licencing costs to get our project off the ground is a lot of money and we have asked our Environment Minister could he please just help us to understand why we have to spend all this money to recycle our local waste when it is free for others in the UK to do? It's hard enough to get any business off the ground and that's a massive amount of upfront costs for a small socially driven start up.


Anybody that has a special needs child, young person or loved friend or family member, or anybody who cares for their environment may know all to well the reality of barriers being put in the way by the persons with the powers to help them!

Our Earth Our Home

           Judy Planter                                 

We set up Behind The Stable Door because we do not believe persons with special needs or a disability should be ignored, we want our social needs participants to have meaningful employment and create opportunities for others going forwards - We want to help lower our waste in NI by making high quality animal bedding from it!

To be able to do this we are now going to need your help!

So if you have heard of our story through the local media, here we are asking for your help! However, we are willing to work for your help! We are not just asking for donations (although these will all be very welcome if you can afford £1 we would be very grateful).  We are here ready and willing to serve you whatever way we can, we want to work for your support to get our waste project up and running so we have come up with a few ideas on how we might serve you in return!  Asking for public support is new to us so we need YOU to guide us on how we might gain your support!

Our target is £8,000, all monies received will go into our social enterprise bank account to get our recycled animal bedding project off the ground so we can support persons with social needs into employment and support the NI environment by reusing our waste here at home!

Cash for Trash Target to Reach!

£ 8000
donation thermometer
donation thermometer
£ 500
donation thermometer

Idea One

Book a personalised video guided tour "Behind The Stable Door" our social farmers are willing and ready to show you our animals and what we do here.  If you have a special needs child or young person that would like to say hello to us or a granny or an aunt or even your good self would like to see what we do here, sign up below! If you live in NI and have a special needs child or young adult that would like to visit us, please use our contact us form.  We are willing to work with care homes/hospitals/hospices, if we can't visit maybe a zoom to the room.  Our social farmers are very friendly and they love helping others so please just let us know how we can help you, we are waiting for you to get in touch!

Video of our social farmers waiting to meet you:

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Idea Two

Buy our Recycled Animal Bedding in advance - Pay it Forwards!


If you would love your pet to have our comfortable, absorbent recycled animal bedding, we are offering the opportunity to pay it forwards.  For a £10 donation we will send you a bag of our animal bedding.  £5 of this will go towards the costs of getting it to you, while another £5 will help us get our project off the ground.  We hope to get you this animal bedding in the post as soon as we can and we are offering a money back guarantee!  If we cannot succeed with our licences we will send you this animal bedding from England where it is totally free and legal to make recycled animal bedding out of waste egg cartons!  We would not want to do this if at all avoidable (to avoid carbon footprint), please remember it is our Department of the Environment in NI that is stopping us from sending this to you right away, our social participants are here wanting to serve you and provide you with fantastic animal bedding, so please support persons with social needs to get you this bedding, your pets will thank you for it!  Also shredded egg cartons make fantastic parcel packaging if you have no pets and you still want to support us!



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Foal Club

Book a Chat!

live video farm tour
Our cute animals
Social farmers ready for your call!
Foal Club

Recycled Bedding

Help us with our bedding project!
Pay it forwards!
Buy our bedding in advance
To help us raise the money to get our licence!
Thank-you for considering donating to our social farm! If you feel that we have been of support to you and would like to donate something, even a small amount we are very grateful. If you are donating to our "Cash for Trash" campaign please remember we are a non-profit and monies will be reinvested into our support programmes. Thank-you!

What our farm participants are saying:

The best thing about the farm is caring for the animals, especially the horses and bottle feeding the lambs who are SO cute! I take the horses in and out of the stables. Clare teaches me new skills and lets me do things by myself. I like feeling responsible and more confident. The horses make me feel calm and happy when I stroke them and talk to them. I always have a fun happy time at the farm and can’t wait to go back. Judy read more
I am amazed at how much Judy has grown in confidence since being at the farm. Helping Clare and Andy with the animals has given Judy a real sense of purpose and after each session she comes home happy and chattier. She loves to impress us with her knowledge of farm life and new skills she’s learned. Judy enjoys the routine of working hard – broken up by a well-earned tea break, chat and bun! Judy’s confidence has made her feel better about herself and she says when she strokes and grooms the horses, she feels less anxious and much more calm. Judy has a great relationship with Clare and Andy who have welcomed her into the StableDoor family. Judy looks forward to visiting the farm each week where she can feel happy just to be herself. Bridget (Judy’s mum)
‘The visit to the farm was an amazing experience for me and all of the young people in our group. I never thought I could work with the sheep and also to learn about looking after horses. It will stay in my memories of the programme.’ 20 year old young man