Farm shop closes at Warriner School but the working farm education continues

Isabel Hands, assistant farm manager, left and Chris Holloway, farm manager, right, with year 7, 8 and 9 pupils.
Isabel Hands, assistant farm manager, left and Chris Holloway, farm manager, right, with year 7, 8 and 9 pupils.

Fears for the future of the Warriner School Farm were allayed this week when the manager said production had been ‘scaled back’ but the farm continues to offer excellent rural studies education.

Rumours were prompted by notices about the closure of the school farm shop. But Chris Holloway, who runs the farm and coordinates classes said produce will still be available by appointment.

“A decision was taken to close the shop front because of a dwindling number of customers, mainly because of competition from other farm shops,” he said.

“Customer feedback suggested we needed to invest capital and change our production to give continuity of supply for things like fresh rather than frozen meat. A number of things meant that the best way forward was to close the shop at the farm in the original buildings where we have a walk-in freezer.

“There is still produce in the freezer and school staff will bring customers down if people want to pre-order and collect.

“We still have eggs and honey in reception which people can buy at any time,” said Mr Holloway. Decisions were taken 12 - 18 months ago to scale the farm production back and reduce flock numbers to spend more time on education.