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Farm Access Website Launched To Increase School Visits

A comprehensive new website aimed at making life easier for teachers who
want to take children onto farms has been launched today by the Access to
Farms partnership*, of which the NFU is a member.

The website - - was unveiled at the Growing
Schools conference in London today** by Lady Ashton, Junior Minister of the
Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

It will act as a one-stop-shop for teachers and will list a wide range of
farms and horticultural units open for school visits. It will also signpost
teachers to specialist advice on areas including educational resources and
health and safety.

NFU Deputy President Tim Bennett said: "I am delighted that this website has
been developed to help teachers find a farm to visit more easily.

"Farm visits play a vital role in providing "countryside classrooms" to
enable children to understand more about where their food comes from and how
it is produced."

The initiative is in line with the recent Policy Commission on the Future of
Farming and Food report, chaired by Sir Don Curry, which recommended that
"all school children get the chance to visit working farms at least once, as
enjoyable days out as well as a learning experience."***

The website will enable the Access to Farms consortium to share information,
identify gaps in the market and plan for the future. It has been developed
with support from the DfES.

* The Access to Farms partnership is dedicated to the promotion of quality
educational visits to farms and horticultural units. Partners include: the
NFU, CLA, Country Trust, Countryside Foundation for Education, DEFRA,
Farming and Countryside Education, Farms for Schools, Federation of City
Farms and Community Gardens, Groundwork, LEAF and the Soil Association. The
partnership was formally set up in 2001 to ensure that teachers have all the
information they need in one central place, now available on the website,
about all the different types of farms that exist to visit from city farms
to organic farms.

**The Growing Schools National Conference has been organised by the
Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and is part of ongoing work
commissioned by the DfES to encourage the use of farming and growing as an
educational resource. The conference is being held at the Commonwealth
Institute Conference Centre.

***This report is available from the DEFRA website


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