Bridge Farm

Cows at Bridge Farm Bridge Farm is a 37 acre Soil Association-registered organic farm in rural Lincolnshire. It operates a variety of enterprises ranging from goats milk and cheese production to vegetable growing, poultry rearing and wildlife conservation.


In 2004, Bridge Farm Links was formed as a not-for-profit company to provide training opportunities on the farm for young people at risk of exclusion from school or with special educational needs. The scheme has attracted 14-16 year olds from several local secondary schools and training agencies, who come to the farm for 1-3 days per week for up to 2 years.

Activities

 

A key feature of the training at Bridge Farm is the level of individual attention: there are never more than two trainees working with the trainer, Steve Tuck, at any time. The main focus is on giving students ‘an introduction to practical work, a taste of routine and experience of a rural business from seed to plate’.
During their days at the farm, trainees are actively involved in a wide range of activities (see below) associated with growing, nurturing and selling crops and livestock products. There is a strong emphasis on building confidence through informal communication, learning by doing, working together as equals and progression from simple to more complex tasks with time.
Fruit and Vegetable display at Bridge Farm

 

 

Areas of Trainees' work

 

Vegetables

‘The seed to plate experience’ of producing, harvesting and marketing over thirty different organic vegetables and fruits for local markets.

Goats

All aspects of goat husbandry from feeding to milk and cheese production.

Poultry

Maintenance of chickens, ducks and geese and egg collection.

Livestock

Rearing of a resident horse, rare breed pig and the local farmer’s cows during summer months.

Conservation

Hedge laying, tree planting, wildlife monitoring, species identification and estate management.

 

Benefits

In our experience, the clearest benefit of this work has been the personal and social development of the trainees. There have been young people whose communication skills, behaviour and confidence have improved dramatically during their year at the farm. Alongside this, there are opportunities to develop new skills, gain evidence for school-based assessments and generally to broaden life experiences.
Through encouraging trainees to keep a daily record of their training for portfolios and by thinking carefully about links with school-based work and assessments, efforts are made to ensure benefits extend beyond the experience itself.

 

Contact

Patty Philips
T: 01673 818272
or Steve Tuck
T: 07909 821633

Website: www.bridgefarmlinks.org.uk
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