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Educational Farms in Europe


The precursors in the field of educational farming were Scandinavian countries: Norway, Denmark and Sweden, put into practice in the early 1900s the ideas of an American movement, the 4H Club (Head, Health, Heart, Hand), which described its aims as the harmonious development of the individual and the concept of "learning by doing". Thus "animation"or "city farms"were established: Farms located in urban or suburban areas and established with the aim of bringing together children, teenagers and adults in the city with farm animals, soil and wild and cultivated plants.From these three countries educational farming spread to other nations.


In Germany after World War II, The German League of Youth Farms and the Active Playground Association were formed, with the goal to create safe playgrounds where kids are monitored by experts.


In the Netherlands, educational farms are sustained by public and private bodies. Their main goal is to raise children's awareness and their knowledge of animals and plants.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens carry on a wide range of activities such as training courses, visits by school groups, horse-riding and vegetable-garden therapies, composting and recycling of waste, leisure activities and sports, summer camps, after-school clubs, etc. These farms are created and run by local people, they are supported by governmental departments, regional development groups and by local bodies. As a result of their large amount of yearly visits and, hence, their satisfactory turnover, City Farms increase the economic and social value of the areas where they are located.


The Federation Belge Francophone des Fermes d'Animation (Belgian Federation of Animation Farms) was created made up mostly of volunteers, with the goal to expose human beings to nature and encourage an active approach towards plants and animals.


In France, Educational farms are specially supported by a public state body. There are currently 1,300 farms organized in 18 regional networks. Various aspects of the farming world are translated in different networks, each of which is specialized in one area of expertise: education, welcoming of guests, leisure, etc.


In Spain, the legislation which regulates the activity does not allow the farmer to be directly involved in teaching, requiring the support of community leaders and experts who are graduates in educational sciences.

European Federation of City Farms (EFCF)

Various federations and national groups came together in 1990 and formed a large network, the European Federation of City Farms (EFCF). City farms offer several opportunities to their users, putting the respect of human beings and the environment at the heart of every activity. Each farm has its own special qualities: dedicated facilities, specific activities and fields (therapeutic, conservative activities, social inclusion, environmental education, etc.). Within a City Farm agriculture and horticulture are adapted to children needs. This way children can learn why plants are so important for our nutrition. They are the main actors of the life in the farm, as they help farmers with various works. Although the time between sowing and picking can be quite long, kids learn how important their work is and are amazed by their abilities. Moreover, we observed that a period of intense activity in a City farm help children learn to respect the environment and contribute to increase their knowledge of nature.

This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The content of this website is the sole responsibility Leader+ Banatski Karlovac Citizens' Association, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.