Project information

Langford Primary pupils at Farms for City Children

Year 4 and 5 pupils from Langford Primary School in Fulham, London, visit Farms for City Children at Nethercott House, Devon. A unique opportunity – and potentially life-changing experience – for urban children to live and work together for a week on a real farm in the heart of the countryside.

July 2017 - July 2017

Charity information

Farms for City Children

Farms for City Children logo
  • Need


    Urban children are becoming more disconnected from nature than ever. They have little understanding where their food comes from; physical activity and outdoor play are being replaced by screen time (with associated obesity and mental health issues); and, in our increasingly risk-averse society, the ‘home territory’ of the average 8-year old – the area they’re allowed in on their own – has shrunk by 90% in a generation. Also, practical skills have been devalued in the national primary curriculum.


    The farm experience is a world away from their daily lives. Children flourish in our homely, child-centred environment. They gain a strong understanding of where their food comes from; of healthy eating; and of environmental and sustainability issues. Activities provide physical challenge; repetition of tasks to build skill and confidence; real-life application of curriculum subjects; teamwork; and purposeful activity, so everyone can take responsibility for their work and feel, and be, valued.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    A life-enhancing, if not life-changing, experience for 39 Year 4 and 5 pupils from Langford Primary.


    » Children help the farmers with their herd of organic milking Friesian cows, the beef herd and sheep.
    » Direct contact with a wide range of farm animals, including cows, sheep, horses, donkeys, pigs and poultry.
    » Gardening and going on a nature walk where the children learn about the local environment and habitats.
    » Helping to grow the vegetables they eat with their meals and learning to make things from natural materials in Forest School.

    Evidenced by teacher feedback during and at the end of the week, as well as ongoing monitoring of the children during their stay by Nethercott House staff.

    Aim 2

    Provide this opportunity at no cost to the pupils, their families or the school.


    » Fundraising through The Big Give, supported by The Thomas's Schools Foundation - a partner of Langford Primary School.
    » Farms for City Children subsidises the cost of each child by nearly 50% (@ £255/child) – a total subsidy of £9,945 for 39 children.

    Hitting our Christmas Challenge 2016 target!

  • Impact


    Exposure to the countryside and the food cycle has a lasting impact on children’s relationship with their environment and on their eating habits. The farm experience enriches, extends and supports learning in school and beyond. An independent study (Bill Graham OBE, 2014) confirmed our work as “an essential link between the way in which children learn and their social knowledge and behaviour … establishing positive relationships …, the foundations to becoming confident and successful learners.”


    One or more of the pupils could pull out of the programme. We have dealt with this risk by fostering close links with Langford Primary School and their partner, Thomas’s Schools Foundation (TSF), to ensure we are best placed to replace any late drop outs.

    The project is subject to raising funds through the Big Give and we may not attract sufficient donations to cover the costs of the programme. TSF will be actively marketing it to their supporters in Fulham and beyond to mitigate this risk.


    In the run up to the farm visit, donors will receive email updates on progress. During the visit, email and social media communications will tell of the children’s experiences on the farm. Afterwards, supporters will hear of the children’s experiences first hand, for instance at a school assembly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £11,640

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,140 Pupil fees Subsidised* costs for 39 children (@ £260/child); up to 4 teachers come free
      £1,500 Travel Return coach travel (London – Devon)

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Pledger (@ 25%) – The Thomas’s School Foundation £2,910 Conditional
  • Background


    Langford Primary School in Fulham, London, is in a low income ward. It has a high percentage of Free School Meal (FSM) pupils. The proportion of pupils in receipt of the pupil premium (additional funding for pupils looked after by the local authority or FSM-eligible) is nearly 3 times the national average. Nethercott House is a Victorian manor house near Okehampton. More than 35,000 children have spent a week living and working there since it was opened in 1976 by Michael and Claire Morpurgo.


    Year 4 and 5 pupils at Langford Primary School (

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have developed and refined our work over 40 years and have great confidence in our capacity to deliver it, and of its impact and value. Our farms combine a safe and welcoming residential environment with a unique opportunity to work as real farmers for a week. Our staff are trained to work with children and animals, and we have developed a week-long programme of activities that really encourages children to flourish.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Catherine Knight, Farm School Manager

    Catherine has worked at Nethercott House for 12 years. She manages the team and runs the Forest School sessions with the children.

    Mike Tweddell, Farm Manager

    Mike runs the farming at Nethercott House. He specialises in rearing pigs and the farm has some fine ‘Large Black’ pigs including Napoleon, the boar.