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Lending a hand at Dean Farm Trust

27 Jun

Gloucestershire Vegan Group members volunteering at Dean Farm Trust, pulling weeds from the duck enclosure

In early June our group had the pleasure of volunteering for the day at Dean Farm Trust, near Chepstow. Dean Farm Trust give sanctuary and a home for life to animals that would otherwise be farmed and used for clothing, food or sport.

The sanctuary is relatively new and took it’s first residents in 2013, with the arrival of their first ponies, and some rescue battery hens. We’ve visited to volunteer for a day each spring/summer for three years now, and every year it’s been heartening to see how the sanctuary is growing and gradually providing a home for a greater number of animals.

Recently Dean Farm trust expanded it’s site to neighbouring farmland and pasture. We were excited see their fantastic new set up, with a large barn and plenty of beautiful fresh grazing land for the rescued animals.

As a group we were keen to lend a hand on the new site, as we knew that the regular staff have plenty of day-to-day tasks that keep them busy, and with a bit of teamwork we can get stuck in to a few jobs they may not have time to get round to.

We spent the morning digging a pond for the ducks, weeding the duck’s enclosure and cleaning mud from the off-road farm vehicle which needed a good scrub after getting stuck in the muck heap. After a bring-and-share picnic lunch, we helped move the Golden Girls (a trio of fierce ex-broiler chickens) enclosure by rolling slowly it on posts to some fresh grazing – it was a real team effort.


We gave Dean Farm Trust’s off-road farm vehicle a much needed scrub


The Golden Girls look on as we move their pen

As we worked, the animals around us went about enjoying their day, Winnie the pig wallowed in a nearby mud patch and then wandered off to lie in a huge pile of fresh straw, the ducks enjoyed the dappled shade under the bushes in their enclosure, and a group of turkeys clucked away in the cool of a nearby barn. It was emotional for us to witness such contented and happy animals, not just living their lives but truly thriving. To see animals that will never have to suffer as farmed animals again, that exist and are cared for simply because they deserve to live, and to live their lives free from fear and pain, it is a truly beautiful thing.

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Winnie enjoys a sunday siesta in a large pile of fresh straw

The valuing of these animals, part of Dean Farm Trust’s belief that “all animals and humans deserving to live a life free from suffering” is clearly demonstrated in the way the animals are cared for. Each time we visit we’re impressed by the incredible level of attention each and every animal resident receives, and this has not diminished with the addition of the new residents. A team of dedicated staff work hard daily to make sure that the pastures and pens are fresh and cleaned, and all animals are well fed and cared for, with any medical conditions treated.

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Dotty re-fuels as her piglets scamper around the barn

Mary, sanctuary co-founder, was kind enough to give us a tour of the new site and introduce us to some of the animals. First we met Tiny Tina and her crew of Turkey’s rescued from being someone’s Christmas Dinner. It was fascinating to see how much they enjoyed Mary’s attention, hopping closer and chirruping until Mary stroked their inky black feathers, and then falling asleep as they were fussed.


We were then delighted to catch a peek at Dotty and her piglets, who are incredibly cute and cheeky. As we crossed a lush green paddock, Winnie, came galumphing across the grass to greet us at a speed I didn’t know pigs could travel at, with her huge ears flapping wildly in the wind. We also met many other animals including Alan and his orphan lamb friends, who are looking extremely healthy on the new spring grass.


Greeting one of our favourite residents Burrito

Thankyou to Mary and her team for allowing us to come and help for the day, and for giving us a tour of the new site.

If you’d like to support the incredible work Dean Farm Trust does, not only caring for animals, but educating about the cruelty of animal farming and promoting veganism, then you can sponsor one of their animals, or make a one-off donation. More details here.

You can also volunteer at Dean Farm Trust, contact details here.

If you’re interested in visiting Dean Farm Trust, they are having an open day on Sunday 3rd September. More details here.



Cafe Poco Pop-Up

19 Feb

2016 saw the blossoming of two vegan owned and run businesses in Cheltenham; Poco Culina & Flamingo’s Vegan Bakery. This was much to the delight of the local vegan community and Cheltenham food-lovers. It was great to be able to support both of these businesses and enjoy their amazing food at our first meet-up of 2017. We packed-out the monthly pop-up cafe at Flonyx Creative, with a friendly crowd of vegans eager to try Poco-Culina’s Cajun curry, and Flamingo’s mouth-watering cupcakes, tarts and biscuits. Thanks to Flonyx Creative for hosting us all. Cafe Poco pop-up can be found at Flonyx Creative, Knapp Road, Cheltenham on the 2nd Saturday of each month.



Exquisitely flavoured food cooked to perfection (Photo: Poco Culina)

Poco Culina


Poco Culina create middle eastern and mediterranean flavoured dishes and rather fantastically deliver in Cheltenham by load-carrying bicycle. The meals are lovingly crafted by Chef Andy – who has real passion to explore the world of flavours through his vegan cooking. Menus change weekly and food can be ordered from their website and delivered to your door in the Cheltenham Town area. Poco Culina can cater for dinner parties or events, and have regular pop-up cafes in Cheltenham including Cafe Poco at Flonyx Creative (2nd Sat of each month). More details of these can be found on their website.



Flamingo’s Victoria Sandwich (Photo by Sally Philpott)

Flamingo’s Vegan Bakery


Flamingo’s vegan cakes and biscuits are made with love and the finest ingredients that they can get their sticky mitts on. They bake devine cupcakes, biscuits and slices, celebration cakes and macarons. All are available to order on their website and can be collected from their Warden Hill, Cheltenham premises. They also sell their cakes at Cheltenham Fine Food & Drink Market (1st Sat of each month), Cheltenham Farmer’s Market (2nd and last Friday of each month), The Suffolk Sunday Pop-up & Cafe Poco at Flonyx Creative (2nd Sat of each month).

Vegan about Nailsworth

31 Jan

Situated in the rolling Cotswold landscape, Nailsworth is a pretty market town and a contender for the most vegan-friendly place in Gloucestershire, with a large amount of vegan-friendly places to eat for such a small town. Let’s not forget it’s very own vegan football club – read on for more details…



Days Mill, Old Market, Nailsworth, GL6 0DU

Details: Asparagasm Kitchen and Hub is a venue hosting vegan cookery workshops and is a base for Asparagasm pop-up dining events throughout the Cotswolds and beyond.
Asparagasm has a range of wheat-free beer and gorgeous wine. More details here.


Forest Green Rovers Football Club

Forest-Green-Rovers-Football-ClubThe New Lawn, Another Way, Nailsworth, GL6 0FG

T: 01453 834860

Details: Based just outside of Nailsworth, Forest Green Rovers, are the longest serving member of the Football Conference. All the food served on site is vegan. I’d recommend their vegan quorn “Q-Pie”. Forest Green Rovers is dedicated to becoming an environmentally friendly football club, with a rain-water irregated pitch and solar PV installed on site, you can read more about this on their website.

The Olive Tree Restaurant

28 George Street, Nailsworth, GL6 0AG

T: 01453 834802

The Olive Tree Mediterranean Restuarant has an entirely vegan menu with risotto, pizza, pasta, and even a vegan brownie sundae.

Green Spirit

Market Street Nailsworth GL6 0BZ

T: 01453 835735

A fantastic, independent wholefood shop, stocking lots of vegan speciality items, such as vegan yoghurts and plant milks, along with a good selection of organic fruit and veg.

Shiny Goodness

11 Fountain Street, Nailsworth, Glos GL6 0BL.

T: 01453 832986 E:

Shiny Goodness sells natural remedies, locally sourced produce and “free-from” alternatives.


ruskin-mill-cafeRuskin Mill Cafe

Ruskin Mill College, Old Bristol Road, Nailsworth GL6 0LA

T: 01453 837527

Off the beaten track, Ruskin Mill Cafe is situated in Ruskin Mill college. There are often vegan options, and much of the food is freshly grown in the college grounds. You can sit and admire the lake in front of the college from the cafe balcony.




Join us in 2015!

3 Feb

Some of our 2014 events

A very happy new year to you all!

We have a great selection of events planned in 2015, you can view a list here.

Gloucestershire Vegan Group events are open to vegans and those interested in veganism. Our friendly, informal group is welcoming to new members. We aim to build a sense of community for vegans in Gloucestershire, by meeting-up and sharing vegan food, providing support, friendship and having fun. We also like to support local animal-friendly causes.

We look forward to meeting you.

To subscribe yourself to our email list, and find out more details about our events, click here.

Gig and Vegan Tapas at Star Anise Arts Cafe

1 Jan

Come and celebrate a shiny new year at this vegan tapas and music night at the Star Anise, Gloucester Street, Stroud on the 3rd January 2015, Doors 7pm.


Viva’s Incredible Vegan Roadshow

28 Apr
Viva's Incredible Vegan Roadshow was buzzing

Viva’s Incredible Vegan Roadshow was buzzing

Us Gloucestershire folk were fortunate enough to have Viva’s Incredible Vegan Roadshow spring-up in Gloucester Guildhall last Saturday 26th April 2014. This all-vegan event had a fayre-like atmosphere, with a huge array of stalls, informative talks and cookery demonstrations.

The event was buzzing. With doors opening at 10.30am, it was immediately busy and was constantly so until late in the afternoon.

It was a good platform for local campaigns. Many were there including Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting who were raising funds to help them continue their work against the badger cull in Gloucestershire, and Dean Farm Trust; a charity founded in 2008 who provide sanctuary for and raise awareness about farmed and ill-treated animals.

Viva had some great information on vegan and animal-rights issues, as well as free food samples and a heaving merchandise stall selling all sorts of stuff, from cookbooks to lip-balm.

There were some fantastic food stalls. A beautiful stall from Simply V, a pop-up vegan catering company from Cardiff, caught my eye with their iced dougnuts. Also from Cardiff, was Vegetarian Food Studio with mountains of incredible indian snacks; stuffed chillies; bhajis and samosas. Another independent vegan food business Tall Poppy Foods had some decadant looking cupcakes and other tempting goodies. Stalls such as these, and many more, demonstrating the versatilty and deliciousness of a plant-based diet couldn’t fail to give a positive impression about vegan cuisine to anyone who visited.

Simply V's enticingly beautiful stall - check out the doughnuts!

Simply V’s enticingly beautiful stall – check out the doughnuts!

For Gloucestershire Vegan Group, having a stall at Viva’s Incredible Vegan Roadshow was a great opportunity to publicise our group and the vegan social events we put on in Gloucestershire.

We also always like to combine our stalls with a spot of fundraising. To make the most of this event, we filled our stall with a selection of yummy lovingly-baked goodies, created by Glos Vegan Group members, which we offered in exchange for a small donation to Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary. Amazingly we managed to raise £234, what a result!

Baked goodies - raising funds for Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary

Baked goodies – raising funds for Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary

Events such as Viva’s Roadshows and the VegFest, seem to have multiple benefits, here are just a few that spring to my mind:

• Strengthening the vegan community by providing pop-up all-vegan inclusive spaces and a chance to meet like-minded people.

•Educating by providing information on animal rights, vegan nutrition & cookery, not only to vegans, but to anyone who happens to visit them.

•Promoting positive alternatives to animal cruelty through veganism.

• Raising the profile of Veganism in the local area.

We’d like to thank Viva for putting on this event.

[2014.04.24] 001.1a[] (GVG at Viva! Roadshow in Gloucester)


Viva’s Vegan Roadshow is coming to Gloucester

23 Apr

download Exciting news for Vegans, veggies and anyone curious about a cruelty-free way of living; Viva are hosting one of their Incredible Vegan Roadshow events at Gloucester Guildhall this Saturday 26th April 2014 (free entry!).

Come along for a chance to taste vegan foods, get one-to-one nutritional advice, pick up recipes and factsheets, have a cuppa and a vegan snack, find out more about local farm animal sanctuaries, and shop for vegan goodies (from chocolate to cosmetics).

Gloucestershire Vegan Group will have a stall at the roadshow, so do pop by and say hello. We’d love to meet you and have a chat. We can do our best to answer any of your local vegan-related queries, or tell you about the programme of events we put on – for vegans and those interested in veganism – in Gloucestershire. We will have a tempting array of lovingly home-baked vegan goodies on offer, in exchange for donations. The money raised from our stall will go to Evesham Farm Animal Sanctuary.

There are full details about the event on Viva’s website, including a map of how to get to Gloucester Guildhall.

We hope to see you there!