What does care farming provide for clients? The views of care farm staff
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Journal: NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
© 2016 Royal Netherlands Society for Agricultural Sciences Care farming in the UK can help the agricultural community to remain viable and facilitate public interaction with the natural environment. It can also be therapeutic because it can address a range of public health and service provision issues by engaging people in farming activities and improving their health, social and educational circumstances. This paper presents the findings from a UK qualitative study exploring what care farming staff feel are the aims and potential outcomes of the experience they provide with their clients. Fifteen care farming staff were interviewed, using a semi-structured interview schedule. In summary the study findings show staff perceived that the care farm offered a homely, supportive environment where people can experience nature and sustainable food production. They perceived the care farm to be a place that provides an inclusive environment conducive to clients’ personal growth; it enables them to connect with themselves, others and nature and to develop autonomy. People can be themselves at the care farm where they have the opportunity to learn about themselves and nature. We consider how the issues care farm staff identified are linked with well-being theory.