New veg garden for city kids, thanks to Pembroke farmers

FARMERS from Pembrokeshire have raised money to help city kids build a new vegetable garden at Farms for City Children, at Lower Treginnis, St David’s.

The money (£502.67) was raised through a variety of activities including a raffle and donations at the FUW stand at the 2017 Pembrokeshire County Show and a pre‐Christmas bingo.

FUW Pembrokeshire county executive officer Rebecca Voyle said: “I am really pleased that the money we have raised will be put towards the re‐developments which they have planned for their vegetable garden in 2018 including new polytunnels and seed beds. For the children who come here for a week with their schools it is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life. Many children may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world, so a new vegetable garden to help them understand how their food is produced is definitely worth supporting.”

Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children (FFCC) at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976 to offer urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside.

In 1986, FFCC acquired Lower Treginnis in Pembrokeshire on a long lease from the National Trust. After a highly successful fundraising campaign, the buildings were converted and re‐structured by FFCC and in May 1989 Lower Treginnis opened for its first schools. The project won many awards for its sensitive restoration of the original farm buildings to provide a purpose‐built, child‐oriented space.

The farmstead dates back to 1284, and is the most westerly farm in Wales. Here Farms for City Children works in partnership with organic farmer and FUW members Rob and Eleri Davies and their son Aled who has recently joined the business, who keep around 900 sheep.

The award‐winning buildings were converted and re‐structured by FFCC to provide for up to 39 children and their teachers. Here the children help look after poultry, horses, donkeys, milking goats and a breeding herd of pigs. The farm now welcomes over 1,000 pupils every year and is booked up for 34 weeks a year.

In charge of running the project in Pembrokeshire is School Farm Manager Dan Jones, who said: “I would like to thank the FUW and farmers who helped raise such a fantastic amount of money for us.

“Treginnis is not a petting zoo, and we ask the kids to do real farm work. They are up at the crack of dawn milking goats, feeding pigs and poultry or looking after newborn lambs. The children are completely unplugged from the virtual world and now they can also get stuck in helping to build the new vegetable garden.”

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