Hartpury helping city kids open their eyes to the wonders of the countryside


A group of helpful Hartpury students and lecturers opened children’s eyes to the exciting world of farming and the countryside during a recent visit to the college.

Some 13 children visited Hartpury’s Home Farm from St. James’ City Farm in Gloucester to find out more about the ins and outs of lambing, beef cattle and the college’s dairy cows.

The group were given the chance to handle some of the newborn lambs as well as learn all about the college’s dairy operation as lecturers George Boulton and Phil Woodman gave them a taste of life on Hartpury’s commercial farm.

Imran Atcha from St. James’ City Farm, said: “The children had a really great time and George and Phil were both very helpful and informative when explaining about everything that Hartpury has to offer. Not all of the children would have known about Hartpury and what goes on here but now it’s shown them it’s a potential option for them once they get a bit older.”

St. James’ also returned the favour as Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, took a trip into Gloucester to see more of what the City Farm has to offer as the college looks for ways for more students to get involved with the project.

Russell said: “I was very impressed with the facilities that St. James’ had to offer as well as the community involvement and enthusiasm of the volunteers. Many Hartpury students are involved but we are always looking at ways to increase our support. Hopefully we gave them a good account of what we have to offer here at Hartpury as well, and who knows we might see a handful of them back in a few year’s time.”

Recently, a group of Hartpury students began employing their equine expertise to help deliver an ongoing programme to visitors and volunteers at St James’ aimed at helping city folk discover the joys of riding and learn more about horses.

Around 40 Hartpury College students have been teaching a range of lessons to clients and workers at the charity organisation, taking them through everything from lead rein to delivering individual private lessons for adults, home educated students and children.

The teaching forms part of the students’ equestrian teaching unit as they look to successfully complete their BTEC Diplomas. The module involves learning how to deliver professional riding lessons and to develop the skills they require to become an equestrian coach.

St. James’ City Farm is a community project run by The Friendship Café charity and works on a range of schemes, from learning how to grow your own vegetables to getting young people to design and build livestock housing.

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