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Making farm visits sustainable

The sustainability of sensory visits can be enhanced in many ways! We all have diverse circumstances and aspirations, but ways in which some host farmers have sought to enhance their visits’ sustainability include,

-   marketing visits more effectively to health commissioners and community groups
-   collating evidence of impact on health and well-being
-   making links with a local rotary or lions club
-   recruiting volunteers to help deliver visits or help with transport
-   developing activities and resources to extend visitors’ experience (pre and post visit)
-   adopting a care farming standard
-   improving access on farm
-   building relationships with a particular community group and adapting activities to their needs
-   starting a farming club, where club members contribute to the cost of their activities

Here are some reflections and examples from eight host farmers from around the country.

Becoming certified
Ashley Wicks explains about the National Proficiency Test Certificate City and Guild’s course offered at Larkrise Community Farm.

Becoming a CIC
Ann De Bock from Rural Care discusses the merits of setting up as a Community Interest Company.

Local funding
Denys Fell from Densholme Care Farm explains how he has proactively built up relationships with local funders and commissioners.

Corri Waitt from FarmAbility explains the importance of identifying the relevant person to speak to in your Local Authority and working with a social worker who will champion your service.

Working partnerships
David Rose explains how Farmeco Community Care Farm has developed a partnership with a Community Interest Company to deliver services to individuals and groups of visitors.

Recruiting volunteers
Beren Aldridge from Growing Well shares his experiences of working with his Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group to recruit farm volunteers.

Developing relationships
Liz Nottage from College Farm explains how she has proactively developed relationships with groups of older people through off farm visits.

Countrymen’s Club
Julie Plumley from Future Roots explains how she set up the Countrymen’s Club in 2012, which aims to help older men become more resilient to life-changes.