Visits To The Croft
Here are some of the different visits that we can offer at The Croft.
Gather, Prepare, Cook and Eat: Whole day. All ages.
We are passionate about healthy eating at The Croft and strive to convey this passion to our visitors. We introduce groups to the concept of organic farming, talking about the different food we produce on the farm and the importance of recycling waste with a visit to the compost heaps. As we walk around the farm we collect a variety of ingredients which we later use to cook and eat a healthy lunch together. (There is a charge involved for sessions involving cooking.
Habitats: Morning, afternoon or whole day. For ages 4-11.
The group will discover the different habitats on the farm, the pond, woodland, hedgerows, long grass. They can search for mini-beasts and compare what they find. Look under stones and dead wood; shake branches to see what falls off onto a piece of white paper. Look at different areas – the hedges, pasture and see if there is a difference between the middle of the field and its margins.
Seasonal visits; Morning, afternoon or whole day. All ages.
Each changing season at the farm is different and offers a different insight in to life on the farm and the nature around us. For example, a summer visit may include learning about shearing sheep, the uses for the wool and having a go at carding. An Autumn visit could include picking hedgerow berries, making hedgerow jelly and using fallen leaves to create collages.
Life-cycles. Morning or afternoon. Ages 4+
Learn about the life-cycles of the animals at ‘The Croft’.
Dig for Victory Morning or full day. Ages 6+
Dig for Victory was a WWII campaign to help combat food shortages by promoting the planting of allotments in gardens and on public land. Come and cook your own wartime meal and learn about war time diet and rationing. This can also be adapted to WWI.
Lambing: Morning or afternoon. ( Spring only! ).
This is one of the most exciting times of year on the farm, for all ages. The group will have the opportunity to hold a newly born lamb and to help with the different jobs involved.
Stone Age: Morning, afternoon or whole day. Ages 6+
Imagine starting the day with nothing at all - not even the clothes on your back. This is how we begin thinking about the development of humans over the past 2 million years; from hunter/gatherer stages, including the Ice Age, right up to the development of farming around 6,000 years ago. Being outdoors, gathering berries, making your own shelter and grinding your wheat really brings this period to life.
Soil: Morning or afternoon. For ages 6+
Learn about the importance of good soil for healthy eating and what we do at the Croft to make our soil healthy. The group will investigate the compost heaps, talk about clover and test the PH levels in the soil from different areas of the farm.
Maps: Morning or afternoon. For ages 6-11 (can be adapted for older children).
The group will go on a farm walk, taking a map with them and collecting different materials along the way to illustrate the different land uses. Back at the education room the group will use the collected items to create a giant map of the farm. We will learn the points of the compass and how these are particularly relevant to farmers.
Organic farming: For ages 8+.
Learn about farming on a working organic farm, help Susan the farmer with whatever needs doing at that time of year from laying hedges to moving cattle and digging docks.
Den Building: Morning or afternoon. Ages 4+.
Come and learn about the different type of homes animal create and build your own in our community woodland at Tarraby.
Weather: Morning or afternoon. All ages.
Learn about the impact that the weather has on what happens on the farm in different months of the year.
Hot and Cold (science) Morning or afternoon. Ages 7+
Children can discover that some materials are better thermal insulators than others, and how the farm and it's plants and animals adapt to 'Hot and Cold'.
History and Geography of the local area. Morning or afternoon. Ages 4+
Find out about how the area has changed over the years and how the local people have shaped the land for food production.
Art on the Farm. Morning or afternoon. All ages
Through a series of half-day visits groups can explore nature on the farm through Art. This could include, clay work, felting, collage, printing and creating natural paints.
Micro organisms. Morning or afternoon. Ages 8+
Learn about micro-organisms, the spread, prevention and treatment of infection in the context of the farm environment.
Foot and mouth disease. Morning, afternoon or whole day. Ages 9+
As adults we will remember clearly February 2001 when an outbreak of foot-and-mouth spread through northern England; for our children this is already history. Groups will learn about the impact that Foot and Mouth Disease had at the Croft Farm and for Cumbria. We will read extracts Michael Morpurgo’s book ‘Out Of The Ashes’ the fictional diary of a young girl, written between January and April, when the crisis was at its height.
Reproduction sex and contraception. Ideal for the end of year 6
Sex education can be a difficult topic, but not on the farm! We will introduce children to reproduction through talking about the farming year and the similarities and differences between humans and the animals on the farm.
Felt making: Morning, afternoon or whole day. All ages.
Come and work with the sheep, feel the sheep's fleece, learn about carding, card your own wool, and make an individual piece of felt. This is an opportunity to learn about the traditional process from sheep to felt, and to make something beautiful to take home.
Christmas decorations. Morning or afternoon. All ages
Christmas is a great time to be creative; using natural resources from around the farm we will create beautiful decorations for Christmas.
Woodland Learning. 5-6 week programme - Early Years specialism
We aim to be flexible about what we offer at the Croft so if you are studying something particular, or if you have something in mind that you think your group would enjoy do ask and we will do our best to make it possible.
We can always do a series of several visits on one topic if you would like to study something in more depth.
145 Houghton Road
Cumbria. CA3 0LD
We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales No. 1183223