Visit an organic farm

Rushall Farm, Berkshire

Rushall Farm is a mixed organic farm situated in the heart of the beautiful Pang valley. It has cattle, sheep, and woodland, and grows a range of cereal crops. It is also home to the John Simonds Trust, an educational charity that works primarily with schools, promoting a love and understanding of farming and the countryside.

Working with Schools

The John Simonds Trust is based at Rushall Manor. A 700 year old farmyard, still complete with an oak-timbered barn, a granary, a cart shed and stables is now converted for use for community functions, classrooms and accommodation. A team of staff with a love for the countryside is available to carry out educational work from March 1st to October 31st each year. The Trust welcomes over 6,000 school children each year, of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. It offers hands-on experiences of the countryside including feeding the lambs, a woodland trail, and pond and river dipping. Each visit is individually tailored to meet the national curriculum requirements for each school.

Organic crops and livestock

The farm has 50 suckler cows that rear their calves for beef production. A flock of 700 sheep graze the pastures in rotation and their lambs can be seen in the spring. It grows a range of crops including wheat, barley, oats and beans.

Woodland and wildlife

The ancient woodland is managed with hazel coppice grown beneath oak standards (mature trees). Coppicing is where the hazel is cut back on perhaps a ten year cycle and allowed to regrow. This provides straight stems which can be used for craftwork and the replenishing hazel encourages different wildlife. Two skilled craftsmen run their charcoal and furniture making business on site.

Open days and events

The farm hosts a range of open days throughout the year including special lambing days and bluebell walks in the spring. It also provides excellent facilities for weekend and summer camps, wedding receptions and barn dances. There is also a trail which can be followed around the farm.

Farm organic, clean ecological

Rushall Farm’s educational work is supported by Ecover, maker of environmentally friendly washing-up liquid and other cleaning products. Ecover works in partnership with the Soil Association to encourage families to eat organic food for the benefit of wildlife and the countryside. The company has funded the provision of leaflets, display boards and other material for Rushall Farm and is supplying cleaning products for use on the farm and in its kitchen. Ecover products minimise pollution and environmental damage, as conventional washing-up liquid can be 20 times as toxic to aquatic life as the Ecover alternative. Contact www.ecover.com for more information.  

Arranging a visit   

Please contact the farm to arrange your visit.  

How to get there   

By road: From the M4 (Junction 12), head towards Theale. Straight over the first roundabout and at the second roundabout take the exit signed A340 Pangbourne. Take the first turn on the left towards Bradfield. At the school, go straight across the crossroads and then take the next left into Back Lane. Take the second turn up the track signed to Rushall Manor Farm.  
By bike: Find your route on the Sustrans website         

Contact details