Students Staff

15 October 2012

Call to get care farming on health agenda

Colchester Campus

Essex academic and care farming expert Rachel Bragg with two ponies

More needs to be done to raise awareness of care farms and the range of valuable services they offer, according to Essex academic and care farming expert Rachel Bragg.

“Care farmers all over the UK and Europe provide many services in a safe, farming environment for people with a range of medical, social, physical and mental health needs,” explains Rachel. “Care farms offer specialist services and meaningful activities to suit specific requirements and it is this kind of personalised care that more people need to hear about.”

At next month’s National Care Farming Conference, she will be discussing the latest evidence on care farming in the UK, will highlight key successes and explain some of the challenges it faces.

Rachel, who is a member of the Green Exercise Research Team at the University of Essex, has carried out research both into numbers and types of care farms and on the health benefits for people using care farms and is supporting the growing care farming movement .

The data she has gathered during her research indicates care farming improves well-being, develops skills, reduces isolation and can increase employability for vulnerable people. However, she feels more research needs to be undertaken to share the positive impacts these interventions can have with commissioners and policy makers.

Care farms will be recognised and celebrated at the conference, together with highlighting current issues facing the profession. Talking ahead of the National Care Farming Conference, Gaynor Tate, Executive Officer of Care Farming UK, said: “This will also be a great opportunity to allow care farmers from across the UK to meet and network and also for those who are interested in starting up to find out more about how to go about it.”

The National Care Farming Conference will take place on Monday 19 November, for more details visit:


Notes to Editors

To view a slideshow of images available of Rachel Bragg at local care farm, Butterfly Lodge, visit:

High resolution versions of all photos can be provided by the University of Essex Communications Office, for more information please contact: 01206 874377 or e-mail:

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