Gortilea Social Farm

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Gortilea Social Farm

Type of Farm

Sheep and beef farm of 140 acres with a particular interest in Countryside Management.


Our farm is situated close to the village of Claudy and is the centre of family life. The farm is not intensive and we have a particular emphasis on Countryside Management and Habitat enhancement.

Farm Activities Offered To Participants

At Gortilea Social Farm we deliver a range of activities. Our programme addresses the individual needs of the participant through a holistic approach. We offer a range of activities that will enable you to participate in and experience a farming lifestyle, traditional farming methods, daily livestock care, growing crops and tasks associated with maintaining the farm environment.

The main activity areas offered are:

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Growing and Cooking Healthy Food
  • Rural Crafts
  • Hippotherapy
  • Accredited Training Programmes

Activities are offered that ensure practical, meaningful and enjoyable day experiences in a supportive rural environment. Participants may look after a range of animals from sheep to cows to horses, learn to grow and cook healthy food, participate in agricultural heritage activities and undertake craft based activities – we have opportunities both indoors and outside.

Where appropriate we will assist and prepare our participants to be able to return to, or move into, voluntary work, further training or employment. This will be facilitated by our onsite Occupational Therapist who will support the participant to set a bespoke programme just for them.

About Us

Team is led by Karen Monteith, her sister Clare Mullan OTR along with their parents Seamus and Susan Mullan and Malachy McCloskey and new team member Robert.

Seamus is the main farmer at Gortilea Social Farm and has many years’ experience in a wide range of farming activities.

Karen has a love of farming and years of experience in supporting farmers through her professional career. Karen is responsible for managing referrals to the various programmes on offer at Gortilea and the training qualifications attached.

Clare grew up on the farm and is a qualified Occupational Therapist with over 10 years’ experience in supporting adults and children with disabilities achieve their goals. Clare is the onsite Occupational Therapist and works with and supports participants to devise their person centred plan. She has a keen interest in horses and has completed her post graduate hippotherapy training in America, enabling her to recently begin to offer hippotherapy at Gortilea – currently the only hippotherapy centre in Northern Ireland. Clare is a member of the Health Professions Council and an Associate Member of the American Hippotherapy Association.

Malachy McCloskey joined Gortilea in 2015 having lived and worked in a farming environment for many years. Malachy has a keen interest in the environment and takes a lead role in the management of the polytunnel, planting hedges and environmental management. Malachy enjoys working with and supporting the young adults who participate in Social Farming.


Social Farming

The Mullan family were selected as a pilot farm on the Social Farming Across Borders (SoFAB) project in 2013-14. Since then Gortilea Social Farm has been established as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and successfully applied for funding from the Heritage Lottery Programme, the European Social Fund and Prince’s Countryside Fund. That funding has enabled the farm to offer LANTRA training with the support of RAPID Ltd. and the opportunity for participants to achieve a qualification through participation.

We firmly believe that the countryside can provide a unique environment to nurture the potential of individuals and groups. We have an excellent team with a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills offering every participant a welcoming and personalised learning experience. Gortilea Social Farm represents an exciting new approach to delivering Occupational and Educational outcomes in the North West.

Where To Find Us


Call our support line

Support Line:

0800 138 1678


Chat to our dedicated support team who are available Monday - Friday, 9AM - 9PM

Voicemail and support options

available at all other times