St Augustine’s Priory Farm has been nominated for two awards in the Schools Farm Network awards. It has been nominated for Student Farmer of the Year and School Farm Environmental Impact Award.
Many are surprised to find the 13-acre Priory Farm just off the busy and complex Hanger Lane, Ealing.
Launching in 2017 as part of British Science Week, the farm incorporates allotments, chickens, micro-pigs and an endangered variety of sheep. Sheep are rotated around the grounds reducing the need for using lawn mowers; pigs’ ‘black gold’ becomes manure in their allotment where pupils, parents and staff grow vegetables; wool from the sheep deters slugs and snails; apples are collected from the grounds to be given to families or pressed into juice to be sold.
Students are encouraged to play an active role in the day-to-day running of Priory Farm, including weekends and holidays. In the two years it has been running, the incidence of illness at the farm has been incredibly low. A great deal of this is due to the care and diligence of the pupil farm managers, one of whom, Lily Rai, has been shortlisted for the awards.
There are now more than 116 school farms in the UK; St Augustine’s Priory is one of the very few London schools with a farm. St Augustine’s Priory welcomes visits from schools in the area who will enjoy an experience rare for London school children.