Local children will have a chance to attend classes at the Discover Farming Educational Centre, at Washingpool Farm, thanks to a funding boost from local housing provider, Magna Housing.The Melplash Agricultural Society has been offering bursaries to students who take up further education in farming and related industries for the last 10 years. In 2015, they launched the Discover Farming project to inform, educate and inspire the younger generation in primary and secondary schools.
Marcus Beresford, director and trustee of the Melplash Agricultural Society, said: “The Melplash Agricultural Society believes that it is vitally important for the next generation to understand the role that farming and agriculture play in the local economy and environment. At a time of great technological change, we wish to inspire the younger generation to take up careers in farming and other rural industries.”
The new Education Centre at Washingpool Farm is a significant part of the Discover Farming initiative.
Pictured l to r: Ken Bodycombe, community investment officer at Magna, Julia Matso, Brenda Bartlett and Keith Reeves, all members of the CIF forum, Vicky Holland of Washingpool Farm, Lucy Hart, secretary for Melplash Agricultural Society and Marcus Beresford, director and trustee of Melplash Agricultural Society.
Vicky Holland, of Washingpool Farm, runs the classroom sessions and said: “Teachers bring their students to our classroom for the day so they can experience a working farm, feed animals and learn about polytunnels and growing food. We believe it’s really important that children learn where food comes from and how it is prepared.”
Magna’s community initiative fund (CIF) has donated £2,500 towards the set-up costs for the classroom facility.
Ken Bodycombe, community investment officer at Magna, said: “We want to support the communities we are based in and farming is a vital part of the area we live in. With so many of our residents’ children in the local schools, our CIF forum of residents was delighted to support this fantastic project with a donation of £2,500.”
The Discover Farming Educational Centre works with local schools within a 15 mile radius of Melplash and host classroom sessions from March to October.
If your community has an idea for a project or an area that could be improved, it may qualify for CIF funding. To find out more and get an application form, contact Ken Bodycombe, community investment officer at Magna, on 01305 216095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org