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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



Latest from blog

24 May 2022

    Bluebells at Rushall Farm I first met...


June 2018

Barn through trees

June 2018

14 Jun 2018




This morning at 3.45am there was the gentle sound of a lark rising in the sky to announce the dawn.  It was only just light, and the song was muted, but followed by a symphony of bird song, climaxing and noisy, but then dispersing 45 minutes later.  It is a great privilege to be living in the heart of the countryside surrounded by ancient woodland and organically farmed land. It is a delight to watch the array of different species of birds busy on Scratchface Lane en route to enjoy large quantities of peanuts and sunflower hearts from feeders outside our kitchen window. A pair of blue tits nested by the back door and nervously fed their hungry chicks from beaks full of caterpillars. Pipistrelle bats emerge in numbers from the top of our roof on their nightly raid on the insect population. One evening we counted over 200. In the field below lapwings have overcome the opposition of kites and crows to protect their vulnerable fledglings. If you stop still and watch, you can see the ears emerge from this year’s lush well-watered crops of barley, and the poppies competing with the crop for sunlight. In the words of the psalmist,

`The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing. Psalm 65

But there is a downside.  A £2 cucumber plant from the Garden Centre was removed from the greenhouse by a hungry rat.  It then proceeded to eat five red cabbages on successive nights.  After the first couple of delicious pickings from our strawberry patch a posse of squirrels moved in and ate the lot, and didn’t even wait for the green ones to turn red. So, we are back to rhubarb again.  On a school visit I was trying to persuade my group of little ones not to be frightened as they fed the chickens and turkeys. The next group coming had the joy of satisfying 3 young rats (they were rather sweet) who didn’t want to miss out on the fun. And I am sure I am not alone in finding that the “lawn” has been used to train a new family of badgers how to find ants and other goodies just under the turf.

Enough, let battle commence for what is left of the strawberries, a squirrel proof cage!

John Bishop