‘No risk’ to much loved Stratton School farm

Stratton School Farm open day PNL-160517-123622001
Stratton School Farm open day PNL-160517-123622001

Fears that a much loved farm could be under threat are premature say school leaders.

There has been speculation that Stratton School Farm was at risk because of rising costs.

Facebook appeals and a go fund me account had been set up in a bid to save the farm, beloved of generations of schoolchildren.

But Cllr Madeline Russell, chair of governors of Stratton Upper School, said there were no plans to close the facility.

Concerned supporters of the farm, which opened in 1955, raised the alarm after what they believed was a increasing lack of investment into the facility.

They said essential work on the pig enclosure was not being carried out.

One person said: “No funds are being made available to get work done, it’s a bit of a sad situation.”

Appeals to get the community involved and a go fund me page, were later taken down at the request of the school, say campaigners.

A statement on the farm website said: “We have been made aware that there is a Facebook page and a ‘go fund me’ page that are saying they wish to raise funds to support Stratton School Farm. We need to inform parents, the public and our supporters that the school has not set up nor sanctioned either of these sites and therefore we recommend that you do not donate through these means. If you wish to support the farm please visit the farm website at strattonschoolfarm.org to get information about our shop opening times and events. We would be delighted to welcome you whenever you choose to visit.

“Whilst we recognise the genuine, well-meaning intentions of those who have set up these pages, we are working to get the sites removed. If you have any questions or concerns please email headteacher@stratton.beds.sch.uk”

Cllr Russell said: “the school is very much supportive of the farm, we want to keep it. It needs capital investment, there is quite a lot needs doing to the electrics.

“We are looking at ways to keep the farm going, we are lucky to have it.”

She said the trustees were in the process of putting a business plan together for the farm. “It has to be done properly through the trustees at the school,” she said.

Stratton School Farm totals 9.6 acres and is home to pigs, chickens, sheep and alpaca. It produces high quality, rare breed meat, has a well-established orchard and runs a community farm shop on weekend mornings.