Farm ‘classroom’ will be a real hoot for children

A VISIONARY Saddleworth couple are planning to launch an exciting children’s education centre to give them a real flavour of life down on the farm.
ALL SMILES: John Beck and partner Cindy Bramhall
ALL SMILES: John Beck and partner Cindy Bramhall

John Beck and his partner Cindy Bramhall plan to provide a safe, friendly ‘outdoor classroom’ environment for children to learn about the countryside, small animals, agriculture and the importance of sustainability of the local environment.

Little Owl Farm will be based at Lower Ship Farm, Grains Bar.

The plan still has to be approved by OMBC, but Cllr Adrian Alexander from Saddleworth West and Lees, said: “It is a terrific concept and will give youngsters a real insight into all aspects of growing up with animals.

“It addresses all the green issues too – I wish them well with their venture.”

And Cllr Garth Harkness from Saddleworth North, said: “Although development in the Green Belt it could be seen as enhancing the green space.

“It will provide a place for children to take part in workshops and help to promote healthy eating.”

Day trips will be offered to primary schools, nurseries and other organised groups to boost the learning experience.

Says Canadian-born Cindy: “We will include activities in the unique setting of an outdoor classroom and indoor workshop area to benefit local schools by providing a lower cost opportunity and involvement in community vision.”

PIGS: Treacle and Chunk with John & Cindy
PIGS: Treacle and Chunk with John & Cindy

There will be a new, log cabin type building for lunch and party use. One existing building will provide indoor activity areas and animals pens. Another new log cabin will provide an outdoor classroom area with indoor animal hutches. Additionally there will be outdoor stables.

Said John, 42:We look forward to working with the many associations and trusts to educate, inform and inspire the community so they have a better understanding of the importance of sustainability of our local environment.

“We aim to meet the required standards of facilities and education resources for farm visits as set by Farms for Schools, an association which aims to ensure school trips to farms are safe, enjoyable and educationally worthwhile.”

And they are planning to be recognised by the national charity, Countryside Learning, and seen to “educate, inform and inspire children, parents and teachers…”

The couple have talked to local school heads and established the ‘outdoor classroom’ experience is growing in importance as it engages children and expands their knowledge through demonstrative learning.

Further information, contact John or Cindy on: 0750 024 7872.

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