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Woman who brought farm joy to city kids for 30 years has died

PUBLISHED: 23:55 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:00 05 October 2010

A WOMAN who ran a popular urban farm for 30 years on wasteland in London’s East End has died. Campaigning Lynne Bennett was “the backbone” of the 42-acre Stepping Stones farm set up at Stepney Green in 1979 on a derelict site that was being used by fly tippers. She was just 63

By Julia Gregory

A WOMAN who ran a popular urban farm for 30 years on wasteland in London’s East End has died.

Campaigning Lynne Bennett was “the backbone” of the 42-acre Stepping Stones farm set up at Stepney Green in 1979 on a derelict site that was being used by fly tippers. She was just 63.

The farm was popular with children from the huge Ocean housing estate next door—it was their bit of countryside’ on their doorstep in the urban sprawl of East London, with its educational activities teaching them about animals and farming.

“Lynne was the backbone of the farm for the last 30 years,” said her husband Robert.

“She got a lot of enjoyment working for the community and loved the animals. She ended up working full time on the farm, but on a completely voluntary basis for the last 12 years.”

Lancashire-born Lynne, who originally trained as an art teacher at London’s prestigious St Martin’s College before joining the farm, received an Entrepreneur of the Year award at a women’s day event on the Ocean estate which she regarded as an honour for everyone connected with the farm.


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