A children's farm with links to Birmingham’s famous Cadbury family is facing the axe in council cuts.
The Mount Pleasant School Farm, near Kings Norton, has provided more than 400,000 city pupils with a taste of the countryside for the last 40 years.
But it is at risk as part of proposed cuts to Birmingham Council’s outdoor learning service, which funds the farm’s full-time teacher. Now the Cadbury-founded Worgan Trust, which built and funded Mount Pleasant’s current base, has urged the authority to save the venue.
Trustee Julian Salmon said: “In an ideal world the Mount Pleasant offering should be part of every child’s education. The experience afforded to children who visit the farm is not of the ‘adventure day-out’ variety.
“It is carefully designed to complement the National Curriculum and enhance the children’s learning and understanding of agricultural and environmental issues.
“While we appreciate the council’s financial constraints, the Trust does not have the funds to replace the teacher on an on-going basis. It therefore puts in jeopardy the future of an educational facility which has been enjoyed by and benefited more than 400,000 children.”
The farm was originally located at Chapman’s Hill Farm, in Romsley, before it moved to a purpose-built facility at Mount Pleasant in 2008.
Deputy headteacher Mark Benton, of Four Oaks Primary School in Sutton Coldfield, has been taking pupils to the farm for several years.
He said: “It gives the children invaluable hands-on experience. The classroom and facilities are brilliant, and the farm’s teacher is an expert. The children and staff come away really inspired.”
A council spokesman said the authority was considering responses to its budget consultation, which ended earlier this month. He said final proposals would be issued next month before the council’s budget meeting was held on March 4.