We’re once again at the start of the school summer holidays in the UK and it’s time to start looking at things to do with the kids to stop them getting bored during the long summer break. All kids should get to visit a farm now and again and this is fairly easy to achieve if you live in the countryside or in one of the UK’s many villages. However, if you live bang in the middle of a city, you may be wondering just where you can find a farm to visit with your kids.
This is where the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) comes in – it’s an organization that aims to support, promote and represent community managed farms and gardens in the UK. You can use their interactive map to find a city farm or garden near where you live – you just type in your postcode and hit enter. You will then see a map of the area where you live with all the city farms/gardens and school farms/gardens clearly marked. Hover over one of the icons and you’ll get a textbox popup that shows a few more details, usually with a link to the facility’s website. Most of these farms and gardens are non-profit projects that rely heavily on volunteers and don’t charge for entry or charge a really small sum, making it an affordable day out for anybody.
You’ll be able to take the kids to see how food is grown and how animals are looked after. For many city kids, this is a great opportunity to see animals they wouldn’t usually come across – sheep, goats, chickens and sometimes cows. These facilities are brilliant opportunities to get kids involved in the natural world around them. Most of these places hold regular events and festivals, usually as a means of raising funds towards running costs.
If your kids really enjoyed the day out, you might want to think of getting involved on a regular basis as volunteers – it’s good for kids to learn the concept of giving back to the community in some way, shape or form and this is a great simple start on the road to philanthropism.
If there really isn’t one of these projects near enough for you to visit without spending a small fortune on travelling, why not consider starting one in your local community. FCFCG has loads of support available and will advise you on all sorts of issues from funding and budgeting, finding a location, animal husbandry and land management, etc. It doesn’t have to be a huge project with farm animals – a small community garden is a great start for a neighbourhood and, who knows? From tiny acorns, mighty oaks will grow.