Harrogate school announces plans to create a community farm on its land

The headteacher of New Park Primary School, Robert Mold, with members of the school's gardening club. (1806054AM1)
The headteacher of New Park Primary School, Robert Mold, with members of the school's gardening club. (1806054AM1)

A Harrogate primary school has announced plans to create a community farm on its land.

New Park Primary School has launched a consultation with parents and the wider community to gauge the level of interest for the project, which aims to get pupils thinking more about where their food comes from.

The school's long-term goal is to have some farm animals on-site, starting off small with chickens at first. The community learning farm would also form part of the school's ongoing commitment to encouraging children to to grow their own produce. A gardening club for pupils has already been set up.

Before the school was built, its green spaces were used as farming land.

Headteacher Robert Mold said: "It is quite difficult for some of our children to get out into the rural areas, and we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

"We want to use the uniqueness of our site and the school's history and heritage to do the best we can for our children during their time with us.

"The biggest thing for us is community cohesion, and creating a place that connects the whole community. This would bring significant educational benefits for our children too.

"If there is sufficient interest in the school community and the wider community, we would be looking at applying for grants to create the community learning farm."

Mr Mold said he hopes the project will have an intergenerational element and help to tackle isolation in communities.

He said: "It's about bringing together the knowledge and expertise of the community. We know that there are some passionate local groups who really enjoy growing things. We want to tap into that passion, and create an opportunity for people to share their expertise with our children."

The school is working with the Woodland Trust to develop their green spaces.

The consultation document for the project reads: "The school would like to use this space to provide outdoor learning experiences about animals, the natural world and growing food. The aim is for the farm to be open to both the school and the local community and to be a focal point for the area.

"We are keen to work alongside local allotment groups and other interested parties and would like all who are interested to get involved in helping us design, create and manage the facility."