A community farm for West London

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Why does West London need a farm?
 
As the owner of two pet pigs, I have seen the delight and fascination that they elicit from children and adults alike when I walk them in my local park.  A chance conversation with a ten-year old boy, who was adamant that pigs lay eggs, made me start thinking about how opportunities are limited for people living in West London in terms of interacting with animals and learning about where their food comes from.
 
When the British Nutrition Foundation conducted a survey of 27,500 children, they discovered that “almost a third of primary school pupils thought that cheese came from plants and one in five under 11s thought that chicken was the main ingredient of fish fingers”.  Secondary school pupils also had their own ideas about their food, believing that tomatoes grow underground and bread and pasta are made from meat. 
 
The aim of The West London Farm is to bring a taste of country life to the city.  It will allow people of all ages and backgrounds to experience a real working farm in action and fundamentally it will provide an opportunity for visitors to make the connection between animals and our food. 
 
The West London Farm will provide recreation and education for the community, creating memorable experiences and stimulating an interest in country life.  It will also offer visitors the opportunity to look at and handle a range of farmyard animals.  The aim is to promote animal welfare, horticulture and an understanding of the food cycle through education and engagement.
 
The West London Farm will also offer training and employment to local people, especially the disabled, those of low economic means and disengaged and excluded members of society, specifically first time offenders.
 
I also want The West London Farm to promote conservation of the natural environment and encourage sustainable living.
 
The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens cites the following as a few of the reasons why having a local farm is so important:  A city farm can:
 
·      Provides a productive, creative, safe and high quality open space
·      Offer opportunities for people to learn new skills, either informally or on formal    accredited training courses
·      Provide training places for adults with learning disabilities
·      Add to the economic wealth of the area in which it is situated
·      Employ local people
·      Improve physical and mental health in the community
·      Bring people together who are from different cultures and backgrounds helping community cohesion
·      Produce fresh food
·      Allow local people to come into close contact with animals and plants
 
If any of the above strikes a chord, please sign this petition to help me create The West London Farm.