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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher



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24 May 2022

    Bluebells at Rushall Farm I first met...


July 2019

July 2019

19 Jul 2019

Last weekend 105 scouts and 25 leaders descended on Rushall Manor for the second of two preparation camps.  They are heading off to Uganda over summer on a three-week expedition, helping construct a school, with a safari at the end of their stay.  On the first camp they were learning to lay bricks, basic carpentry and manual skills.  This camp was focusing on team building including a drumming workshop, tomahawk throwing, archery, first aid, staying healthy and learning to be self-reliant for food and cooking it! They also had to fill potholes on the farm tracks, sort out some trees across footpaths and clear the scrub and piles of decaying timber and accumulated stuff from the improved workshop at Oaklands.

There is a saying that 1 skilled man is worth 10 unskilled volunteers, so it was with a level of dread that I arrived to look after my first batch of twenty at eight o’clock on Saturday morning. We cautiously started cutting grass off the banks with shears and to my surprise they seemed to both enjoy the task and do it well. Around the other side of the building we lit a fire and were agreed that it would be a modest affair with due regard for the overhanging trees.  It wasn’t long before the exercise seemed to gain momentum with the fire growing bigger, barrow loads of nettles and grass cuttings, blackthorn and hazel coppice, and some huge decaying timbers man handled to add to the inferno.  Mid-morning an ash tree with die back was cut down, the old charcoal sieve demolished, and work started on overhanging vegetation on the ditch and bank opposite the building. It was a hot day and a relief to stop at 12 for lunch. But as I arrived back another thirty appeared this time, determined not to miss out on the experience.  A small group plus sledge and club hammers decided to demolish a very well-constructed stand for a large water tank. They duly took it in turns to hit the concrete blocks. Full instructions were given by the team as to where the blow would have maximum impact with cheers of approval when progress was being made.  Two hours later their work was done. Around the corner those in charge of the fire were looking very red in the face and drinking a lot of water as dry leaves were now being raked out of the ditch to stoke the fire. Yes, evening did come and barbecue time, and Oaklands, well it looks rather cared for again, apart from some slightly singed overhanging trees!

John Bishop