Farms for City Children Outdoor Residential Centre Devon
Nethercott House Iddlesleigh, Winkleigh, EX19 8SN
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
What we offer
The land surrounding Nethercott House is farmed in partnership with brothers Graham and David Ward, a relationship that goes back to the very earliest days of the Charity when the family partnership of Graham and David and their father John Ward helped Clare and Michael Morpurgo to start Farms for City Children in 1976. Graham has a herd of organic milking Friesians, while David farms sheep and a beef herd. The children help look after donkeys, ponies, pigs and a wide range of poultry, as well as participating in woodland activities and going on a Sunday walk. There is a large walled kitchen garden where the children help grow the vegetables they eat with their meals. As farming is very seasonal, activities will vary throughout the year.
Living and working on the farm for a week fosters children’s independence, confidence, self-esteem, resilience and collaborative skills, whilst encouraging the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. Children become farmers for a week, working with the animals and the land, developing their understanding of where our food comes from. The breadth and rich variety of activities and experiences available during the week’s residential visit to one of our farms covers many aspects of the National Curriculum, for example links can be made with PSHE, Science, DT (particularly Cooking and Nutrition), and PE. Other subjects, activity dependent, are English, Mathematics, Geography, History and Art and Design (National Curriculum links refer to Key Stage Two). Our Education Officer can discuss further about curricular links and pre or post visit support.
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976. The charity offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world.
We now have three working farms, where we welcome around 3,000 children and 400 teachers a year.
Accreditation and Awards
All our farms are accredited by the following organisations: Quality badge awarded by Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, National Farm Attractions Network membership, Farms for Schools Accreditation from Countryside Learning, Learning Destination with the Children’s University and CEVAS Access to Farms.
Group Sizes Catered For
Maximum 39 children.
Materials, Resources & Information Provided
Risk Assessment Details
A full information pack is sent to every school well ahead of their visit. We encourage pre-visits from all our schools to ensure quality and safety of your visit.
2017/18 - £9,900 for up to 36 children. This includes four free adults.
First Aid Information
Senior staff at the farm all hold 3 day First Aid qualifications and most other staff hold 1 day emergency First Aid qualifications.
We encourage schools to ensure that all adults accompanying the children are First Aid trained as our staff are not present overnight.
We supply full catering for all schools who visit – breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a morning snack and a hot chocolate. We are very proud of our home cooked food, with seasonal menus, including lots of produce from the farm as well as other local suppliers. We believe that learning about healthy eating as well as the social aspects of eating together is a very important part of the week.
We have two designated rooms; one with sofas, board games and books, and another with table tennis and table football. There is also a large garden for children to play in and explore. We have a large classroom as well as a well-stocked library with fiction and non-fiction titles. You will need to bring your own materials for classroom activities. Access to a landline and Wi-Fi is available.
Accessibility & Disabled Facilities
We encourage children of all abilities to visit the farm and regularly host groups with a variety of special educational needs or disabilities. However, our heritage buildings and countryside setting can pose a challenge for some and it’s important that you discuss all such issues with us ahead of your visit.
Opening Hours & Information
We are open every week in term time throughout the year for school bookings. Outside of term time, we host holiday lettings.
“It’s a life-changing experience which opens possibilities for children. They discover strengths they didn’t know they had. The experience stays with them forever.”
“Many of our children have NEVER seen farm animals first hand and have a limited idea of where food comes from. Their week has a major impact on how they view the world around them. Parents and teachers comment on how after a week on the farm, there is improved behaviour and they have calmer and happier children who are more helpful at home.”
“I watched my girls and boys, many with severe behavioural difficulties or special educational need issues, blossom: tending and nurturing the livestock; taking pride as they tenderly picked the produce in the gardens; squealing with delight and awe as they watched lambs being born.”
Face my fears as I can achieve them. Work harder and be more helpful at school and at home. Try to think of answers and listen when asked questions. I will spend more time outside and talking rather than playing PlayStation.
“You have given us a magical week we will never forget. Thank you so much.”
Room Sizes and Facilities
All children sleep in dormitories with bunkbeds and between 6 and 10 children per dormitory. Teacher’s rooms are a mixture of single and twin rooms. Some rooms have ensuites shower rooms, others have separate shower rooms. All bedding is provided, with waterproof mattress protectors on the children’s beds. There is no T.V but Wi-Fi access is available for visiting adults.