Katherine opens nursery on farm
The idea for the Brue Farm Day Nursery was
born when Katherine Farthing decided to return to work and was
searching for a suitable day care nursery for her youngest
daughter, then aged three months.
It became apparent that there was nothing
available within a nine-mile radius of Lovington and this area
includes the sizeable town of Castle Cary. So Katherine
decided to start her own nursery.
The project was planned over two years and
included a feasibility study.
Katherine’s dedication to the project led her
to start childcare training at Yeovil College.
Katherine contacted the Business Link to find
out how best to go ahead with her idea and was told about RDPE
grants towards farm diversification projects.
Business Link adviser for Somerset Graham
Woodcock visited the farm and brought in business adviser Roger
Bacon to advise on cash flow projections and a business plan.
Now Brue Farm Day Nursery is operating in
purpose-built premises on the farm and Katherine is its hands-on
owner. She employs an experienced manager to run the day-to-day
business and other qualified staff, both full and part time, to
assist the smooth running of the nursery.
The nursery provides a range of flexible
childcare for children aged three months to five years for five
days a week, for 50 weeks of the year. The nursery provides
home-cooked and locally-sourced food.
“We aim to provide a safe and happy
environment which will bring new opportunities for children to
learn and enjoy a purposeful day,” said Katherine. “The
emphasis is on quality care with the advantage of raising
children’s awareness of the countryside around them.”
In developing plans for the new building,
Katherine paid a considerable amount of attention to the design of
the building from a functional perspective, having visited a number
of other nurseries.
The design incorporates energy and water
efficient technologies which will reduce its carbon footprint. The
nursery build includes:
- A ground source heat pump to reduce the
requirement for heating oil
- Zoned sensor lighting
- Roof window vents to eliminate the need for
- Water butts
- Bicycle stands to encourage cycling