Gosling Sike Farm

The Croft is a 40 hectare organic farm lying just outside Carlisle with a separate parcel of land at Armathwaite. The farm rears pedigree Longhorn cattle, sheep and poultry and produce is available from the farm. The farm has a walled garden growing fruit and vegetables. The farmer Susan, along with the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, hosts many school visits and is a Soil Association demonstration farm. Susan is CEVAS trained.

The farm offer walks and a range of activities which can be tailored to suit the needs of the group, from harvesting vegetables, cooking to felt making, animal husbandry, egg collecting, lambing. Students wanting work experience prior to studying veterinary science or agricultural related subjects are welcomed.

Contact Name: Susan Aglionby
T: 01228 549628
E: [email protected]
W: http://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/gosling-sike-farm.html

Walking Information

There is a public footpath running through some of the farm’s fields. It is easiest to follow the route from the north of Tarraby and walk towards Houghton for about 1km (0.5miles). Please keep to the public footpath.The terrain can be very muddy and difficult in places. Wellies are essential in wet periods.

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Houghton C of E School and Croft Farm

Houghton C of E School first started visiting the farm in 1998, the pupils would initially come for a farm walk. Now the visits are structured and planned to the curriculum being followed by the classes that term.

The year 6 pupils for the last 3 years have maintained their own allotment on the farm from March to July, culminating in a day of harvesting and cooking the produce for a class feast in the Tyler room.

The Tyler room is a purpose built educational facility on the farm opened by Mrs Tyler the Head Teacher at Houghton C of E School in 2009.

Each class visits the farm at least once a term, often there is a series of visits. Recently the children have linked mathematics to planned visits to the farm following applied investigations,  for example how much hay will the farm need to make to feed the cattle this winter?

Next term a class plans to have several visits on a literary theme to the wood.

In December 2000 each pupil at the school planted a tree on the farm, this is now called the ‘School Wood’.

The staff on the farm greatly enjoy the special relationship they have with the school, getting to know each child as an individual, we are frequently told that a pupil who struggles in a conventional classroom shines on the farm

The farm hosts several community events each year, such as the ‘Easter Egg Hunt’ and a Bonfire party, these events are free to all those in the local community. The school, has worked very closely with the farm in the preparation for them, ensuring that they are successful and an enjoyable time is had by all who come.

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