This new school term is set to be our busiest since opening in April this year, with four fantastic schools joining us one day a week, each week. This month Co-op Academy Priesthorpe provided a spectacular sheep herding service, rounding up the whole herd to separate out four of our neighbours’ sheep who had jumped over the wall to join ours! Co-op Academy Beckfield helped to collect the first batch of eggs from our rehomed chickens, and Upper Wharfedale School sheltered from the first storm of the season in the big barn. A first was also had by Co-op Academy Oakwood, who harvested our first honey from our bees which tasted delicious!
Alongside our new partner schools, it’s great to have the staff from Co-op Priesthorpe with us who are old hands at Jamie’s Farm. They visited the Monmouth farm a few years previous for a residential week, and saw the dramatic improvement in attendance and wellbeing our progarmme can have on students, and so were keen to visit Skipton. The staff continue to run a weekly check-in meeting at school with this past group, and shared how supportive they are of one another – with the result that their attendance, which was previously worryingly low, has now remained above 90%.
Skipton farm staff, Ben and Mark, had their first collection of follow-up visits to schools since the farm launched – an exciting milestone! They were overwhelmed by the smiles, hugs, and happiness from all the young people.
The team are keeping very busy with the approach of Autumn. Clare Deal, dubbed ‘Director of Colourfulness’ by Farm Manager, Mark, is clearing straw from an old barn to create an art shed. Ben, our Visit Coordinator, is now responsible for getting the farm’s wood working area set up ready for lots of log chopping. We also have Louie, our fantastic volunteer, who will be coming back to help out on the farm with an aim to get our garden up and running.
We also have new team members out on the farm, having just rehomed 30 “free range” commercial chickens. They will now be living in a converted livestock trailer, moving round the farm and fertilising the ground with their poo! Some of the older barns on the farm have had a facelift with lovely new cladding, transforming the look of our welcome barn in the converted milking parlour.
We’d also like to do a shout out for Ben who will be running in the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 15th October as part of the Jamie’s Farm team. If you are in the area, please do come down and cheer him and all the other runners on! You can donate to his giving page here.