A LONG-RUNNING family-run farm that has diversified its offerings over the years to continue to serve residents remains a focal part of the Rainford Junction community. 

Located amid a stunning countryside backdrop, Bridge Farm has a history stretching back 200 years. Co-owner Janette Cockayne's family have been involved with Bridge Farm since around a century ago when her grandad’s auntie bought it.

Her grandad was a farmer there until the 1990s and the family-run business continues.

The farm is owned by trustees of the family, with Janette’s brother, sister and uncle involved.

St Helens Star: The plant nursery at Bridge FarmThe plant nursery at Bridge Farm (Image: St Helens Star)Bridge Farm has had a plant nursery for around 30 years, which was the business’ first diversification.

A campsite was added a decade ago, which sites around 20 caravans, overlooking the rustic views.

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Its accommodation offers also include The Lodge, with its own kitchen, dining area and bedrooms.

Meanwhile, the Bridge Farm café launched around five years ago.

St Helens Star: Part of the campsite at Bridge FarmPart of the campsite at Bridge Farm (Image: St Helens Star)

“The campsite has been very successful and we have been full every weekend since Ester,” said owner Janette Cockayne, who has lived at the farm with husband John for the past 20 years.

“With the views you could be in the middle of Wales or anywhere. Some people come from down the road because they want to stay in a caravan, rather than be stuck in traffic on the way to the Lakes.”

St Helens Star: Inside the Lodge at Bridge FarmInside the Lodge at Bridge Farm (Image: St Helens Star)Janette says the business managed to stay busy through the difficulties of the Covid lockdowns, carrying out deliveries of compost and products to remain connected with the community.

The café has 10 members of staff and has proved a “popular” addition, Janette says, with the coffee proving a big hit. The café’s outside area was also expanded during the Covid lockdowns.  

“The café welcomes campers, cyclists, dog walkers, we welcome dogs, sometimes there’s more dogs than people!” she joked.

St Helens Star: Bridge Farm cafeBridge Farm cafe (Image: St Helens Star)

“We seem to remain popular, we’re at the end of the walking route, the Linear path through Rainford finishes here and that’s very popular with families.

“We didn’t get a licence (alcohol), we’ve gone down the route of doing something different. You can go to the pub if you want to have a drink. We do the evenings where people can bring their own drinks.”

St Helens Star: Co-owner Janette Cockayne has lived at the farm with husband John for 20 yearsCo-owner Janette Cockayne has lived at the farm with husband John for 20 years (Image: St Helens Star)

Janette, 58, added: “People like the coffee so much, even people who don’t drink coffee. Another of the favourites is the porched eggs.

“I think we are warm, friendly environment and welcoming to everybody.”