Academy players get their hands dirty

Sustainability Overbury Farm visit

Players at the Arsenal Academy have long benefited from a broad range of educational programmes throughout their time at Hale End. 

The Academy Players Leadership Group (APLG) features two player representatives per age group across the Under-9 to Under-16 teams at Hale End. Voted by their team-mates and staff, the group comes together each season to learn about leadership and aims to show courage to make an impact by taking responsibility around a topic that resonates with the players.

This season the group are focussed on sustainability and the environment, looking at climate change, how we impact the environment and how, through making different choices, we can start to reduce our emissions.

As part of this year-long project, the APLG research recently took them to Overbury Farm in Gloucestershire. While visiting they were able to learn more about the regenerative farming method that Overbury Farm has been using.

Regenerative farming creates healthy soil by rebuilding healthy organic matter and the natural living biodiversity in the soil. Healthy soil is vital not only to help grow nutritious food, but also for drawing in carbon from the air, holding water and providing homes for wildlife, both above and below the ground. 

Regenerative farming is also less reliant on chemicals such as artificial fertilisers and pesticides, while also promoting biodiversity and reducing deforestation and land degradation.

Courtesy of Your Pact and the Green Farm Collective, the trip allowed the boys to plant trees and make tree guards, understand sustainable farming and recognise the importance of locally grown produce. The scholars were joined in Gloucestershire by Hale End staff Michael Hagan (safeguarding manager) and Chris Thurston (player care manager), Overbury Farm manager Jake Freestone, and Bethan Pugh and Nick Birkinshaw from Your Pact (above).

From their learnings the boys are now keen to implement some of these strategies at our Hale End site, to reduce our emissions and increase biodiversity. Watch this space.

Sustainability Overbury Farm visit

The lads enjoyed all the sights, sounds (and smells!) of a very special farm

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