Natural England chief’s backing for care farms

Natural England CEO James Cross visits the care farm at Botton Village.
Natural England CEO James Cross visits the care farm at Botton Village.

James Cross, the Chief Executive Officer of Natural England, visited Botton Care Farm on Thursday to see the link between the environment, farming and social care.

Mr Cross was there to support the ambition of Care Farming UK to build the capacity of the care farming sector in the UK.

He experienced first-hand what happens on a care farm and spoke to service-users and staff.

Robin Asquith, care farm manager at the Camphill Village trust, said: “It’s fair to say he was very pleased and impressed with what we had to offer.

“It was a jointly organised event to launch the Care Farming UK annual survey of the state of Care Farming in the UK and raise the profile of the future plans for developing the sector in the UK.”

Care farms provide health, social and special educational care services through supervised, structured programmes of farming-related activities for a wide range of people. It includes those with learning disabilities, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, those with a drug history, people on probation, young people at risk and older people.

Benefits for those attending care farms come from the combination of three key components:

l the natural outdoor environment

l the meaningful farm-based activities

l and the social context of working as part of a team.