Schoolchildren at Reach Academy in Feltham were overcome with excitement at the opening of their new school farm.

Principal Ed Vainker was joined by deputy mayor of Hounslow Myra Savin to officially open Reach Farm on Monday March 7, home to animals including two pigs named Hook and Willow and 20 chickens.

Children from local nurseries and schools, parents and teachers, as well as members of local businesses, Hounslow council, Ministry of Defence and Groundworks also attended to celebrate the farm’s opening.

The school hall was decorated for guests with pictures from Reach Academy’s early years pupils, recreating their experiences of their new farm.

Mr Vainker said: “We are very excited about this transformational project because it gives our pupils and our community the opportunity to study nature on a regular and close-up basis in a safe and accessible environment.

“It will be particularly beneficial to our most vulnerable pupils and we hope it will be used by other nurseries, schools and community groups.

“We would like to thank the Heathrow Communities for Tomorrow Fund and the Ministry of Defence for their support.”

The farm occupies an acre of land, on loan from the Ministry of Defence, next to the school which is located on the High Street, Feltham, and has been funded by the Heathrow Communities for Tomorrow Fund.

It will give pupils from nurseries and schools as well as community groups in the borough a chance to get up close to animals, learn to care for them, grow and harvest produce as well as study insects and amphibians in their natural environment.

Reach Academy moved to its new home in the town centre in September 2014, prior to which it was housed in a temporary site in nearby Hanworth Road.

Local community groups interested in using the space should contact Reach Farm coordinator