Thank you for your interest in visiting Bower Hill Farm. We are accredited by FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) and supported by Natural England to host visits for pre-schools and primary schools, special needs schools, Scouts and other community groups for children and adults.
We wish to give every visitor an enjoyable and memorable experience that will hopefully enhance their knowledge and appreciation for the natural world, farming and the countryside.
Situated in the picturesque rural area of the Surrey Hills, Bower Hill Farm is a 42 acre farm set in the rolling landscape of a Greensand Ridge. There is a vast area devoted to the creation and protection of habitats for wildlife, including woodland areas, wildflower meadows, grassland, wildlife corridors, hedgerows, lakes and ponds.
Bower Hill Farm has been owned by Guy Amos since 1983. The farmhouse was built in 1993 and the lakes and ponds constructed in 2003/05. Guy is trained in agriculture. He runs a smallholding of cows and sheep and looks after the conservation areas on the farm. He is married to Lucrecia, a nursery and primary school teacher.
The cows have new calves every year between March and May. The bull calves are kept for 9 months and then sold as store cattle. The heifers calves are kept for 20 months and then sold for breeding or meat. All animals are sold at the nearest cattle market in Hailsham, East Sussex.
The ewes lamb between March and April. At the moment the sheep flock is kept for home consumption and the enjoyment of young visitors.
There is a handling enclosure for rabbits, dwarf lop rabbits are bred on the farm and for sale as pets. There is also an aviary with zebra finches.
Bees are kept in two hives in the woods. Honey is extracted once a year in the autumn.
Angus/ British White
Planning your visit
Some groups prefer an informal visit, a walk or tractor-ride around the farm, a relaxing picnic by the lakes. Others plan their visit to gain new skills and have fun e.g. survival, rafting, orienteering, canoeing and boating, treasure hunt or wildlife quiz. The farm can also be used as a base to explore the scenic footpaths and places of interest in the area; we offer basic camping facilities for overnight stay.
We welcome adult groups interested in the countryside, wildlife conservation or bird watching. School teachers can link their visit to the national curriculum- the countryside can be a fascinating teaching resource!Each visit is tailored to suit the individual needs of the group. We advise a pre-visit to the farm, during which you can carry out a risk assessment, discuss your group's requirements and plan your visit. We endaviour to make the farm visits accesible to all groups. Charges/donations are discussed with each group in advance.
Suggested topics and activities for schools
Animals e.g. how they move, feed, grow, use their senses, adapt and reproduce.
Plants e.g. what they need to grow, recognise parts of plants and their functions. Living and non-living trail.
Habitats and wild life conservation.
Life cycles e.g. caterpillars, frogs, etc
Woodland and tree studies.
Investigating different soils.
Caring for living things and the environment, animal rights, rules and laws, the countryside code.
Farm produce e.g. what does each animal produce, how it is produced.
Bird watching and listening to bird song.
Seasonal changes, weather station, clouds classification and water cycle.
Recognise different materials and why they are chosen for their jobs.
Human influences on the environment.
Orienteering, designing and reading maps.
Sketching and painting (e.g. landscape views, bluebells in spring, reflections in the water, trees, autumn leaves)
Making sculptures and dyes with natural materials.
Counting, estimating and measuring (e.g. number of bales, animal weights, growth rates, tree circumferences, distances)
Handling and recording data; variation and classification. Group living things according to similarities and differences.
Making observational records e.g. from handling small animals, scavenger hunts, sensory trails, etc
Interviewing people in their workplace or formulating questions for an 'Ask the farmer' session.
Related QCA Schemes of Work:
Plants and animals in the local environment, Variation, Habitats, Life Cycles, Interdependence and Adaptation, Animals and us,
Environment and feeding relationships, A sense of Place, Outdoor and adventurous activities.
Facilities available on request
Portable toilet and hand-washing facilities; tables and benches; clipboards; first aid.
Health & safety
All animals naturally carry a range of micro-organisms, some of which can be transmitted to humans, where they may cause ill health.
Some infections which may be contracted on farms, such as the bacterium Escherichia coli O157 (E coli O157) can potentially cause severe disease, which may be particularly acute in young children. While the hazard from infection resulting from a farm visit is real, the risks are readily controlled by everyday measures.
Guy and Lucrecia are both CRB checked and Lucrecia is also a qualified First Aider. To ensure you have an enjoyable and safe time at the farm we strongly advise you to follow these sensible steps:
Before your visit:
. Decide what the ratio of children to leaders should be.
. Make sure everyone wears appropriate clothing, including sturdy outdoor shoes or wellington boots.
. Check that cuts and grazes are covered with a waterproof dressing.
During the visit make sure that all visitors:
. Wash their hands thoroughly before eating and after any contact with animals.
. Do not suck their fingers, put hands or pens in their mouth, or kiss the animals.
. Eat only in the designated area. Never eat food which has fallen to the ground, or taste animal foods.
. Do not touch tools or machinery, or climb on to fences or gates.
. Approach and handle animals quietly and gently, do not chase or frighten them.
. Listen carefully, and follow the instructions and information given.
After your visit, make sure you change footwear.
Remember the children are your responsibility. You should supervise them during the visit, especially during hand washing to make sure that each child washes thoroughly. The Health & Safety Executive has printed a comprehensive advice leaflet for farm visits which can be read on line at http://www.hsebooks.co.uk/. A copy of the farm's risk assessment and liability insurance is available on request.
'The mini beast hunt in the woods really motivated the children. Mrs Amos was so knowledgeable about the bugs, but no so much it would confuse them, at the right level. She spoke to the children about how to handle the minibeasts . Once back at school the children were much more careful whilst looking at bugs. They loved it! All children engaged in the activities and worked hard identifying bugs. The adults that accompanied also thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thank you so much for an enjoyable morning.'
Kathryn Hall- Reception Class teacher. Nutfield Church Primary School
'The visit was very well organised and all safety aspects were considered. The children had a fantastic time in the woods looking for bugs. The introductory talk was very interesting, and the pictures of bugs useful. Several parents have told me how much their children enjoyed the visit. Thank you for a lovely evening! The toads and newts were a bonus!'
Jess Bristow-24th Reigate Beavers
'The children were made to feel welcome and were allowed lots of encouragement to meet and touch the animals. They also enjoyed lunch in an open and relaxed atmosphere. Great opportunity for all. We were greatly impressed with your project and the children really loved seeing the animals that you care for. It was particularly beneficial to us to be able to visit a farm which has the feel of a working farm as opposed to many of the alternative venues where the focus of activities is on picnic facilities swings and slides and shopping. We aim for our outdoor visits to be meaningful and with a planned purpose or a learning outcome. It is for this reason that we are very keen to use you resource again in future. It is great that you are able to provide the children time and space to do art and associated nature related activities, this is far more beneficial as a learning experience for our children most of whom learn kinaesthetically, (through doing something) rather than through passive observations. We really appreciated the time you were able to devote to doing these activities and our children will certainly benefit and enjoy your support and assistance with this in the future'
Brian Fitzgibbon- YMCA Yippee club and Yip4youth holiday scheme for children and young adults with special needs
'We had a super time and enjoyed our visit immensely'
Val Murray-Cranmer Court Nursing Home
'On behalf of Reigate and District Young Farmers Club members I would like to tank you so much for letting us come to your wonderful farm. I particularly enjoyed cuddling the giant rabbits, their fur was so soft. It was lovely to walk around the fields, looking at the wildlife, cows and sheep.'
Alasdair Rodgers (Reigate YFC)
A very enjoyable trip to Bower Hill Farm. The class really enjoyed searching for different animals in the various habitats. The information given and facts available and explained meant every child learnt from the trip.
Mr. Philip Stockwell, Year 4 teacher. Nutfield C o E Primary School
'Thank you for letting us come to your farm. We really enjoyed the bug hunting. Thank you for taking us on the truck. We liked the tyre swing, it was lots of fun. The bunny rabbits were soft and cute. The pond dipping was lots of fun, we liked the tadpoles. We enjoyed your farm. Thank you.
Otter Class, St Catherine's Primary School, Bletchingley.