STAFF and students at a Cumbrian school have been getting hands on learning about farming and growing their own food.

For the past two years pupils at William Howard School, Longtown Road, Brampton, have been tending to a flock of sheep on a three-quarter acre sized patch of ground which has grown to 16 after recent arrivals.

They also look after hens and ducks.

The venture is aimed at teaching youngsters about living environmentally and sustainably to grow fruits, vegetables and plants - it is looked after the the pupils and community involvement.

It was built on a lapsed school tradition begun years ago by Mr Blakeman.

Elizabeth Brereton, English teacher, sustainability lead and organiser of Open Spaces, the school smallholding said the venture is going from “strength to strength”.

Mrs Brereton said: “It’s part of the curriculum for the School in the Cumbria Education Trust which the school is part.

“It basically teaches them how to grow their own veg.

“We started off with a couple of lambs two years ago and it has been really lovely.

“We are helped by eight adult shepherdesses.

“There are currently tow classes looking after the sheep.

“We’ve had to work right through lockdown because we have had lambing and shearing, we’ve just kept on going.”

“In particular, during lockdown, we have been successfully providing fruit and vegetables and a safe place to garden for the community.

Open Spaces project is currently liaising with feeder primary schools in the Cumbria Education Trust, to offer advice on how to promote the same “green outdoor classroom “ to primary pupils.

“These pupils can then grow their own fruit and veg in the city or urban setting.

“I think it is wonderful, it is a very practical subject an it is part of their future showing them things like being able to grow their own vegetables and get first hand experience of things like lambing.

“Many children have never done things like see a lamb being born, hold a lamb, gather their own eggs or grow things like their own potatoes.

William Howard School is part of the Cumbrian Education Trust

The Open Spaces project is currently raising money for a new shed. To donate: