Farms for City Children Outdoor Residential Centre Devon
Nethercott House Iddlesleigh, Winkleigh, Devon, EX19 8SN
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
What we offer on a school trip
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.