Farm activity days for children with special needs

Date Posted: 26/02/2015

Project Beanstalk offers activity days and residential events to young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties as well as those in mainstream schools.

Group leaders Liz and Sarah have backgrounds in residential care, working with children with highly complex difficulties. 

In 2008 they started taking groups of young people from the residential home to Fernhill Farm in rural Somerset. The trips soon became the highlight of the children’s two year programme. 

The opportunities that the farm provided for staff and young people to experience new things and to live, learn and work together in a relaxing, nurturing environment proved to be a catalyst for building or repairing relationships and working on difficult feelings and behaviours.

Events are all tailored to the needs of the groups attending, but can include a wide range of farm-based and local outdoor activities, including animal work, horticulture, cooking, foraging, bush craft, arts, crafts and outdoor pursuits. 

All activities are provided by Project Beanstalk’s staff or local experts. They are all based at Fernhill Farm – an eco-farm at the heart of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic therapeutic practice

If required, the staff will include a therapeutic framework that uses its own brand of nurture, combined with elements of cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic therapeutic practice. 

In layman's terms, this involves teachers and pupils setting concrete goals for themselves that address issues they want to work on, and using group discussion to help them to understand and learn from their experiences.

Down on the farm

The farm is home to sheep, cows, pigs, chickens and more. There is a poly-tunnel for year round horticulture, a dedicated bush craft area, indoor craft workshop facilities, a shearing stage, a variety of outdoor areas (including the canyon, stone circle and stone theatre) and a variety of flexible accommodation options for residential groups. 

The farm caters for school groups of up to 100, with outstanding indoor accommodation available for 25 to 30 residential visitors and camping available for larger groups.

For more information visit or contact Al on or 07740-252192.

School Travel Organiser's Guide