We reopen after lockdown

This month we very tentatively reopened our doors under the very strict guidance from the local authority, although we were so excited to have our students back on the farm we were obviously anxious to get all the safety measures correct.

Due to the nature of the farm being outdoor-based, with hand washing already a key part of learning and working on the farm, we were able to open without too much change to the daily plan. All sessions were 1:1 and we had some good times getting plenty of jobs done, enjoying being outside again and catching up.



Lambing and COVID-19

This month saw a crazy turn of event that rocked the whole world and we were so saddened to have to close our doors to visitors so soon after opening.

It was especially hard after such a wet and cold winter for the students not be able to be here for the lambing and lovely spring weather.

However, life on the farm carries on and my family and I were there to keep on top of all the jobs and send pictures to the students so they could see the animals were all well!



Back to work after Xmas

After a well-deserved break for Christmas, we started back and began various woodwork projects to create planters for the garden and enrichment for the chickens.


We also welcomed new students to the farm and embraced the smaller occupants of the farm and built a lovely bug hotel.

Fields and Farms | Alternative Provision | Bug Hotel

Our first student attends

This month we welcomed our first student and it has been great to put all the planning into practice.

We have enjoyed getting to know each other, the farm and the animals. We have also spent lots of time doing groundwork jobs developing the different areas of the paddock – the garden, allotment and animal areas.


The lambs are here!

The lambs arrive in the paddock and became very used to the various visitors and they have become inquisitive and friendly.

Caring for them everyday and always receiving a lovely welcome each morning is something that everyone enjoys!


The animal enclosures being built.

The building of animal enclosures began to be ready for the first visits.

Our chicken enclosure beginning to take some shape and we looked forward to welcoming our feathered friends.

We created the enclosure ourselves using all our skills and available materials. We do not like to waste anything so, where we can, we will recycle as much as possible.



Our cabins arrived!

The buildings arriving was an exciting point in the adventure and this is when the dream became reality and the serious hard work started.

Cleaning, painting and generally fitted out the buildings with a kitchen, office, lockable storage and learning area started with gusto!

Fields and Farms | Alternative Provision | Building


We worked hard to get water and electricity to the cabin and toilet block and then needed some family help to fill the trenches and tidy the outside area!

The beginning of the provision.

The story started in April 2017 when I began volunteering at Oak Tree House Farm learning everything I could about farming from Jane and David Ingham who own and run the farm.

I wanted to immerse myself in the world of farming because I knew that the idea I had needed me to have as much knowledge as a possible to be a success.

When I joined them on the farm I was thrown in at the deep end in a really great way. I learnt to drive their JCB, taught how to administer medications, shepherded and sheared sheep, helped ot deliver lambs, bedded down the calves and cleared up the mess – no job was too mucky for me!

After discussing my idea of an alternative provision with David and Jane they absolutely loved it. So much so that they offered a paddock on the farm to start the project which blew me away!

I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and immediately applying for planning permission.

My focus was to offer meaningful work based activities to children and young adults with learning difficulties in an outdoor environment.

The benefits of simply being outdoors are well documented, as are the benefits of being near to and caring for animals.

And so the story started…