Nonington Farms are firm believers of outdoor education through practical, hands-on experience, strongly encouraging the farm to be used as an outdoor classroom. All ages are welcome: the youngest has been just a few days old!
Children: All school-aged groups, from Reception to Year 13, can apply for our free fieldtrips, either one-off visits or weekly sessions. Farm School runs every Wednesday for flexi-schooled and home educated families; and schools participate in termly sessions, coming on to the farm once a week for a term to experience the farm over a season.
Students: University students can do their placement year at Harper Adams or equivalent from other universities or opt for apprenticeships from local agricultural colleges. We welcome students conducting their dissertation or thesis to the farm, and are willing to give them time to interview us. NFL is developing links with University of Kent, hosting their students for farm tours and discussions from the faculties of Sociology, Geography and Environmental Science.
Adults: adult groups can participate in guided learning walks on the farm, whether local interest groups (conservation, environmental or community focused). We also host other farmers through our LEAF Demonstration status, and others keen to learn about how we farm, including our local East Kent Barham Downs cluster farm. We also host those involved in agriculture professionally, such as policy makers from Defra, conducting farm trials for agrochemical companies and sharing in research for the future.
Everyone can come to our Open Farm Sunday events. Throughout the year, therefore, we reckon over 1000 people of all ages come to the farm to learn more, share ideas and participate on our farm. So, whether you are a parent or child, a pre-school or nursery, a school or college, an interested group of adults, or industry professional, and you want to arrange a farm visit, we would love to hear from you. Fill in a contact form here.
What do you do on a farm visit
Our farm visits are tailor made to your group’s requirements. With a qualified teacher, qualified Forest School Leader and CEVAS registered members of staff, we can advise and support you in creating the appropriate visit you want. We can even sort out the risk assessment for you! We offer free fieldtrips to local schools and groups, and can often offer that to groups further afield as well. The subject content covered on a fieldtrip with us can be broad ranging and far reaching. Come along and see for yourselves!
An example timetable:
|9:30–9:45||Arrive, H&S briefing and introduction|
|9:45–11:45||Farm tour, looking at the machinery, grain stores, livestock, growing crops, nature and environmental schemes including hedge laying and bird habitats, bees, cover crops and livestock|
|11:45–12:00||Return to farm|
|12:00–1:00||Lunch, followed by waste audit (composting and recycling food and other waste)|
|1:00–2:00||Activity in the woods or grassland|
|2:00–2:30||Return to the farmyard (on tractor and trailer), final Q&A session.|
We would usually recommend at least 2 hours for a farm visit, ideally 4 hours.
Our facilities include WCs (including disabled access), kitchen area, indoor classroom for wet weather, and plenty of parking for coaches/minibuses/cars. To book your farm trip, contact us here.