PCFPrince’s Countryside Fund Boost for Oathall Farm Shop, February 2012

Not many schools have the benefit of a school farm and even fewer have their very own farm shop.  Supported by a grant from The Prince’s Countryside Fund , we have been able to grow our shop both physically (we now have a dedicated cutting room for the butcher) and in terms of the range of products as well.

Visit the dedicated shop website here

In his book ‘Harmony: a new way of looking at the world’ published in 2010 HRH The Prince of Wales said of Oathall Farm:

“One way of connecting children with nature is school farms, one that survives is at Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath.I have great admiration for this farm, which some years ago was due to be shut down, but was saved at the last minute after the children wrote to me in despair. The activities of the farm are woven into every part of the college’s curriculum-maths, art, biology, business and environmental studies– and so the farm is part of every child’s experience at the school.”

OCC Students Help Launch of the Year of Food, September 2007

Our students with Prince Charles at Highgrove

Our students with Prince Charles at Highgrove

In 2007 25 of our students enjoyed the trip of a lifetime, they travelled to Highgrove to meet HRH Prince Charles.

They helped to sort organic potatoes at the Duchy Farm before going on to stay at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester.

Then on the big day itself, in the full glare of the TV cameras and the press corps, they learnt how to harvest wheat, grind corn and make bread, before pulling organic carrots. Another group carried out some stock task on the Prince’s Lleyn sheep.

The students then joined 200 guests for a lovely lunch at Highgrove, where Oathall was described by Prince Charles as ‘a remarkable place.’

Royal visit to the Farm, May 2000

HRH Prince Charles pays a visit to our glasshouses

HRH Prince Charles pays a visit to our glasshouses

HRH Prince Charles visited Oathall Farm in May 2000, he toured the facilities and met some of our animals and students.

This was to be the start of a long relatonship with the Prince who is an adocate of agricultural and horticultural education for young people and a keen defender of the countryside.

Here’s an extract from the local paper at the time:

“Prince Charles came to Sussex on Tuesday 9th May to visit Oathall Community College. The visit comes a year after the Prince received news of Oathall Farm’s probable closure. Funding for the farm looked set to cease, until a letter from Chris Dent (former pupil) won the attention of the Prince. His Royal Highness was so concerned about the prospect of such a unique learning resource closing that he personally intervened. The Prince arrived outside the main entrance of the school where he was introduced to local dignitaries, before moving on to the College greenhouse. Chatting to pupils and farm technician Maggie Chamberlain, he learned that the College produce flowers without the use of chemicals. The Royal visitor was then taken on a tour of the farm by farm manager Howard Wood, before unveiling a plaque commemorating his visit.  Charles then spent some time in the playground where the pupils had lined up to meet him. Many of the children were surprised at how chatty the Prince was.  Before Charles left, he gave the farm hope for the future by insisting if there was any trouble to give him a ring.”