Schools learning from Farnley Estates

Schools and groups are learning from Farnley Estates

Since Farnley Estates was awarded Higher Level Stewardship (HSL) status by Natural England in December 2014, the Estate has exceeded its targets for encouraging educational visits.

As well as a commitment to conservation, as part of the HSL agreement, the Estate, which owns and manages 1,500 acres of land in and around Farnley Tyas, has a responsibility to encourage more visitors onto the land for educational purposes.  

The agreement requests land owners to ‘host educational visits by school groups or other groups for curriculum studies at all levels or to learn about the relationship between farming, conservation, and food production’. A minimum of 20 visits each year is expected. Over the past 12 months, the Estate has smashed this target, recording almost 1,000 visitors for educational purposes in the year from 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2014.

“As part of our 25-year plan we’re looking to open up greater access to the Estate on a permissive basis. This year, we’ve tested the water by approaching local schools, colleges, the University and other community groups to see if they could benefit from access to our land. We were amazed at the response. We’ve discovered a genuine requirement for outdoor learning facilities, which is reflected in the 975 individuals that visited the Estate for educational purposes last year,” says Paul Sykes, Farnley Estates Director.

As well as educational establishments, Scouting and community groups, including members of the Pennine Domestic Violence Group and Kirkburton Parish Council Youth Engagement Group, also took advantage of the Estate’s hospitality.

“The Estate covers such a diverse area of land that we can offer a range of activities and learning opportunities, including farming, conservation, history, ecology and astronomy,” said Paul. “By utilising different areas of land for different groups, we can also limit the impact on local communities,” he added.

The Estate is working to build on this year’s success and encourage even more educational visits during 2015. Anyone interested in visiting the Estate should call 01484 665544 with their request. Remember, you can still have your say on the future of Farnley Estates by visiting our future...IN FARNLEY page.