Care Farming Explained

Care farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices.

Care farms: 

  • Provide health, social or specialist educational care services for individuals from one or a range of vulnerable groups. Includes people with mental health problems, people suffering from mild to moderate depression, adults and children with learning disabilities, children with autism, those with a drug or alcohol addiction history, disaffected young people, adults and people on probation.
  • Provide a programme of farming-related activities for individuals with a defined need, including animal husbandry (livestock, small animals, poultry), crop and vegetable production, woodland management etc.
  • Provide supervised, structured care services on a regular basis for service users,  as part of a structured care, rehabilitation, therapeutic or specialist educational programme.
  • Are commissioned to provide services by a range of  referral agencies such as social services, health care trusts, community mental health teams, education authorities, probation services, National careers Service etc. Clients can also be self-referred as part of the direct payments scheme, or be referred by family members.
  • Utilise the whole or part of a farm. Be they commercial agricultural units, smallholdings or community farms.

Care farming is a form of 'Green Care' “nature-based therapy or treatment interventions - specifically designed, structured and facilitated for individuals with a defined need

Engagement with Green Care activities such as care farming services will typically be through referral via health or social care services (although service users in receipt of personal care budgets may commission their own services), specialist education, probation services etc. and people attending these interventions will follow a facilitated and structured programme on a regular basis; funding is usually paid per individual for the care/treatment service provided by the intervention. For more details on green care see here

Code of Practice

The SF&G Code of Practice for care farming services provides quality assurance for clients, commissioners and families alike. We encourage all care farmers to adopt the care farming Code of Practice. For more information click here

Care Farm of the Month

Hall Farm, Eastoft in Lincolnshire works with adults & children of varying abilities

More info here