Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of things will my child/ren be doing?


Tablehurst Community Farm is a biodynamic working farm with dairy cattle (calf at foot), pigs, poultry, sheep and beef cattle and the children are involved in caring for them as part of our sessions on a seasonal basis, for example seeing the lambing pens, watching milking and caring for our own two pigs Anna & Jeff. We also have a large growing area for food plants and we have to build and manage our own site. We want children to understand where food comes from and so the full lifecycle of animals and plants is discussed in an age appropriate way. There is also a lot of time for fun and games! We have a weekly curriculum that follows the seasons and farm activity. So far this year we have looked at berries and extracted strawberry DNA, made ink from oak galls and learnt about preserving in different ways. Activities are different depending on the age group, our Let's Grow group incorporate business skills in their sessions and they and our Farm Kids are also supported to use tools safely to build and construct things we need. They're also encouraged to tinker with broken items in the farm workshop and see if they can get them to work again. Take a look at our gallery for some more ideas of what we do.




What sessions do you run?


There are 3 weekly sessions, Seedlings Ages 0-5, Farm Kids Ages 5-11 and Let's Grow Ages 12 - 16. We also run holiday clubs for ages 5 - 11. Please see our bookings page for current days and times. We also offer school experience days and Birthday parties. Please contact us for more information via enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmer.org




What do you charge?


We charge a one off £5 registration fee for all new attendees. Each session is priced according to its length. We reserve the right to change these depending on our running costs. Our fees are currently: Seedlings, Tuesday or Friday (2pm - 4pm) £29.50 per month per child Farm Kids - Thursday (9.30am-3.30pm) £103 per month, Friday (9.30am - 1.30pm) £81 per month Saturday (9.30am - 12.30pm) £72 (per block of 4) Let's Grow - Thursday (9.30am - 3.30pm) £103 per month




Are sibling discounts available?


We offer a 15% reduction on fees for the third child onwards. Please be aware that we are a not for profit organisation and have to meet our staffing and running costs.




What are your payment terms?


For Holiday Clubs and Saturday Farm Kids, we ask that you pay half termly in advance by bank transfer. If you need to make alternative arrangements, please speak with us before booking your place. For our regular weekly activities, please set up a Standing Order to pay on the 1st of each month. We will charge a fee for any late payments based on our administration time. If ever you are struggling financially, please talk to us, we will work with you to try and find a way for your child to keep attending.




What happens if I want my child to come but can't afford to?


Please have a conversation with us! We're a not for profit organisation and our main aim is to try and connect children with where the food is grown and produced. We hope to offer bursary places in the future, but until then drop us an email with your situation to enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmers.org and we'll get back to you. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.




Can I have a free trial session?


We offer trial days entirely at our discretion and they are charged at the usual session fee. They are based on the appropriate ratios of staff to children. If your child does attend a trial day, you will need to complete a Registration Form in advance to provide all necessary information for us to care for your child appropriately and be able to contact you in the event of an emergency. They will be required to have appropriate clothing as detailed in our seasonal kit list and you must also provide drinks, snacks and lunch. Following the trial day, it will be up to you and your child to decide if you'd like to join us for one of our weekly sessions. We will try to offer you the day of your choice, but please be aware that we do have a waiting list and this may not always be possible.




What happens if I have to cancel my booking?


From time to time, we do understand that you may need to cancel your booking. Please give 1 months notice of your decision in writing to enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmers.org Please be aware that we have engaged staff and resources to provide the best learning experience we can for your child/ren. We have to meet these costs. Additionally we run as a not for profit business in order to keep our places affordable for as many people as we can. If you wish to leave immediately, we will refund you, where we have been able to fill the place(s) you have booked (we often have a waiting list). We'll be transparent about this with you. Refunds will be offered if we are able to fill the place during the month you have given notice. If we are unable to fill the space, you will be required to pay for the month or session that you have booked for. There will be a £5 administration fee for cancellations outside of the one month notice period.




How can I book a place?


Places on our Holiday Clubs are booked on a first come first served basis. Please go to our bookings page. For our weekly sessions, places are offered to existing families first, so you may need to wait and see if we have a place for your child/ren. We have a waiting list for all our sessions and we can add you to this is you'd like to wait for availability. We charge £5 to cover our administration which is deducted from the first session you book.




How does your waiting list work?


Our waiting list is run on a "first come, first served" basis and we'll offer you the next place on the session you are interested in. This isn't always a quick process as it can take 6 months for a place to become available. If you're flexible on the day your child/ren can attend, please let us know at the time of your enquiry.




What does my child need to wear?


As you can imagine, working on a farm can often be a mucky business! So old clothes and then protective layers according to the weather. All children should have a bag to carry snacks, water bottles, spare clothes etc.. We'd recommend: Winter

  • Thermal base layer
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • Jumper
  • Full waterproofs
  • Wellies or insulated boots
  • Hat and gloves
  • Gardening gloves - we have some available for sale at £3.50 per pair in child sizes
Spring According to the weather, you might need a winter kit! You can often drop the base layer on warmer days. Better to have too many layers than too few. Summer
  • Long trousers - we walk in fields where there may be ticks and often work with brambles/nettles
  • Sturdy shoes or wellies depending on the weather - no sandals
  • Sunhat
  • Waterproofs
  • A change of clothes - the children regularly play in the stream on hot days and prefer to put dry clothes on.
  • Gardening gloves - we have some available for sale at £3.50 per pair in child sizes
Autumn According to the weather, you might need a winter kit! You can often drop the base layer on warmer days. Better to have too many layers than too few. We are trying to build some supplies of waterproofs, so if it's prohibitively expensive to buy them for your family, do talk to us and we'll try to help.




Do they need lunch?


Your child should bring a drink to last the full session, snacks and lunch for the longer days.




Where should I drop my child off?


The drive way into the farm is one way, please follow the signs to the parking spaces in the car park opposite the polytunnels. A member of the team will meet you and your child there. Please do not drop them off at the side of the road as this can impede farm traffic and we get complaints.




Are staff DBS checked?


Yes, all staff are DBS checked.




Are staff first aid trained?


Yes, we have staff who have paediatric first aid training in each group.




How can I support Tablehurst Young Farmers?


We always have projects on the go! We appreciate physical donations of things like gardening tools, wheelbarrows, timber, seeds or if you'd like to make a financial donation you can pay directly into our bank account - make sure to let us know so we can say "Thank you"!




How can I volunteer or work for you?


We have some volunteer roles descriptions. If you'd like to volunteer your time, please drop us an email at enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmers.org and we'll send these to you.




Will you run more sessions?


At the moment, we don't know! Certainly demand is outpacing our ability to deliver sessions at the moment, but we don't want to dilute the quality of what we do.




What information do you need from me?


You will need to complete an electronic Registration Form before your child/ren joins a session. A link will be emailed to you when your booking is confirmed.




What do you offer for Birthday Parties?


Birthday parties are for a maximum of 12 children and can run on a Saturday between 2pm and 4pm. We tailor the content of the party to the age of the child celebrating, but typically activities will be similar to those in our weekly groups, with some added games! We don't provide food, but you are welcome to bring cake and snacks. Cost is £150 and we provide 2 facilitators, bunting, materials and a card for the Birthday person.




Keeping Safe on the Farm


Please discuss this with your child prior to their first session. It's important we work together to keep each other safe while taking part in our Young Farmers sessions. Being on a working farm has it's risks that children and adults need to be mindful of:

  • You will need to stick with your group and know who your group leaders are.
  • If you need the toilet or need to leave the group for another reason please let your leaders know.
  • Always be aware that tractors and other farm machinery are using the farm paths and fields and so you will need to move out of their way.
  • Never enter an animal enclosure without permission or without an adult present.
  • Never put your hand into an animal enclosure or feed farm animals without permission or an adult present.
We encourage healthy risk taking and hope that our young farmers can have the best possible time whilst remaining healthy and uninjured! If you would like to see our risk assessments or have further questions, please contact us via enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmers.org




Do you offer anything for schools?


Yes! These are bespoke sessions depending on what your curriculum goals are. Please get in touch via enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmers.org




Should I notify you if I test positive for Covid?


If you've attended one of our groups and test positive, please let us know by emailing enquiries@tablehurstyoungfarmers.org we can notify the rest of the group if necessary. Please follow government guidelines and don't attend if you have tested positive or have symptoms.




When do you run sessions?