Community rallies to help save farm

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Dell Farm in Whipsnade has has a stay of execution.

The farm, a favourite with schoolchildren for decades, had been under threat after its funding was cut by £250K earlier this year.

Active Luton, which runs the farm, had planned to relinquish its lease next month but a campaign to save it meant within a month of its initial proposals, Active Luton announced they would continue operation.

Now Luton Borough Council’s Executive committee will hear next week that new partnerships have been formed to strengthen the farm’s future.

The schemes involve diversifying the current offer of the centre beyond schools, working more closely with youth groups and projects such as the National Citizens Service and groups within Tokko.

Local businesses have offered volunteer support for decorating and general maintenance.

“In terms of next steps, Active Luton will now confirm bookings for beyond August 2016 and also focus their attention on developing the new opportunities that have arisen,” says a report to the executive.

“The Trust will then feed back to the council in Spring 2017 with regards to their future business model for the facility.”

The Farm is a 36 bed residential centre catering for primary and secondary pupils on the Dunstable Downs next to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.

Youngsters can stay weekdays and weekends and take part in such activities as: orienteering and map work, trees and seed dispersal, guided zoo visit, habitat investigations, literacy and numeracy trails, mill technology and art in the environment.