Paddington Farm Trust was set up to provide opportunities for children and young people from disadvantaged urban areas, especially London, to access the countryside. Youth groups who come to stay with us are immersed in a very different environment, a world away from city life. It’s a world of farm animals, birds and bugs, rolling green hills, clean air, starry skies and evenings by the campfire, combined with the freedom to explore. Many of these young people come from challenging backgrounds; most have never stroked a sheep or fed a horse, and some have never been on holiday. Staying at Paddington Farm has a profound and lasting impact on these young people, and we often welcome groups back year after year.
We also host a range of activities - from forest schools sessions to rural craft days - to enable people from the local community and beyond to connect with nature and take part in the life of the farm. Our ongoing volunteer programme helps people to deepen their connection to the land, develop their skills, and, of course, make a positive contribution to our work, as well as enabling us to provide opportunities for those with additional support needs. A working farm, we grow a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables, which are sold at Glastonbury’s weekly market. We also have 2.5 acres of organic apple orchards, and each autumn we have an apple pressing day to transform our harvest into delicious apple juice. Our four-legged residents include goats, pigs, alpacas, sheep and ponies, and we rent out our fields to local farmers for grazing and haymaking.
Any profits that we made are put towards supporting our core aim of facilitating nature connection and access to the countryside, particularly for disadvantaged young people.