CLA members the Worgan Trust, are this year celebrating 50 years since they started their school farming campaign.
The Worgan Trust Charity was set up by philanthropist Paul Cadbury, of Cadbury’s chocolate in 1967, with the aim of protecting and preserving the rural land around Birmingham. In 1972, this evolved with the City of Birmingham Education Department collaborating and creating an educational unit for school children.
More than 415,000 school children from early years to secondary age pupils, initially from Birmingham area and then from the whole of the West Midlands, have visited the farm schools project in the last 50 years. Because of its popularity, in 2008 the decision was made to move from its original site to a larger dairy farm which is on land owned by the Bourneville Village Trust, Mount Pleasant Farm near Wythall on the South West edge of Birmingham.
I have worked with the Worgan Trust since April 1988. The vision and benevolence of the late Paul Cadbury led to the establishment of the farm visits. After 50 years, and with some new members of his extended family involved, the Trust remain committed to its original aims. We still provide teachers with the chance to bring pupils to see where their food comes from. With hands on feeding of farm animals, and other educational activities, farm days extend the curriculum work carried on back in school
Mount Pleasant Farm has a £500,000 sustainably designed classroom which includes an air source heat pump to heat the classroom and offices, the classroom itself is cladded with thermal blocks to help contain the heat and a 6,500 litre rain water harvesting tank which supplies the toilets and animals’ water.
The Bournville Trust manages almost 2,500 acres of agricultural land including five farms in five farms in the greenbelt between Birmingham and Bromsgrove.
Mount Pleasant Farm provides a rare opportunity for children and other organised groups to bring their classroom studies to life by visiting a 540 acre dairy farm and learning where milk, beef and other food products come from.