NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Care farms/ educational visits  (Read 715 times)


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • High Peak
Care farms/ educational visits
« on: October 21, 2018, 06:28:02 pm »
Just curious. Have any of you ventured into this or looked into it? Obviously not for those of you who are still working full time whilst also running your smallholding full time! It’s just that we met someone recently who, when retired, has big plans in this direction which made me look into it. It seems a really worthwhile use of a smallholding but I expect there are lots of pitfalls that the person we met hasn’t yet thought about. Just curious to hear any views.
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 09:06:40 pm »
I think this is a great idea if you can do it.
Slightly different aspect,  but my daughter, as a teacher with some disadvantaged children in her class, asked if she could take them here to see my ducks, chickens and dogs.
They come from a rough background, and one has learning difficulties.

Every Monday, she used to take them, with her learning assistant, to a local supermarket to buy items for their lunch, go back to school, make up their sandwiches etc, then take them somewhere that might be of educational value or of interest to them.

As they both are fond of animals she decided my place would be good - she warned me that their behaviour and language left a lot to be desired, so I was prepared.

They were the most polite and enthusiastic kids of that age I'd met for a long time, they thoroughly enjoyed their time feeding my poultry, cuddling my cat and my dogs, and picking fruit and vegetables - and so did I!

So if you can, go for it, you'll be doing a great job
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2018, 02:50:20 pm »
We are only a couple of hundred yards from our local primary school and Nursery, they have been visiting us on and off for the past 4 years, we just make sure that we have buckets of water out for hand washing and that any animals liable to kick or bite are out of reach. At the beginning of the school year someone visits us and does a risk assessment. They have made scarecrows to keep the crows away from the hen runs, planted potatoes, collected eggs and fed all the animals. Although we are rural it is still surprising how many children have no idea where their food comes from.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 12:00:02 am »
I've visited schools with a goat in tow and given a milking demonstration and talk, followed by any child who wanted could groom her - one child in each corner and four brushes. :goat:


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 06:40:03 am »
We host farm visits for the Royal Highland Education Trust. There is a similar organisation in England but I can't remember the name.

RHET takes care of the risk assessments - each area has a part-time (or full-time) co-ordinator.

Just make sure your insurance is adequate. Ours is higher because we do this.
We love it.
Also worth thinking about is Open Farm Sunday.


  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 09:25:46 pm »
I was asked by a lady, when I was selling cheese a few years back at a food festival, about allowing disadvantaged children/young adults to see and touch the buffalo. As buffalo adore children and respond very well to affection. It would definitely be something I would consider doing at some point, however the uncertainty of where we will be in the next couple of years or in terms of health/safety and whether it would interfere with the running of the farm or such weighs itself against, which is a shame. But I would definitely advocate doing it :)
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • High Peak
Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 03:45:59 pm »
Gosh some really interesting responses, thank you. I hadn’t actually expected many of you to have done this. I must say that it’s not something I’d even considered but it just sounds like a really interesting thing to do. I don’t think that the time is right at the moment as we are very much finding our feet but in a few years who knows.....


  • Joined Sep 2014
Re: Care farms/ educational visits
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 07:36:13 pm »
Hi Cambee, I manage a farm for a charity that acts as a therapy and farming space for lots of different children for lots of different reasons. It is hard work but incredibly rewarding. My advise would be to volunteer for a week with a charity such as ours, then you would have a much better understanding. We do have people who volunteer week in week out and also run their own small holdings that the kids occasionally go to.

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