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Mix96 Community Challenge 2013

Pebble  Brook  Urban  Farm sign2013 Winner: Pebble Brook

In 2013 Pebble Brook School in Aylesbury won Mix96's Community Challenge.

Their idea for an urban farm on a patch of disused ground at the school grabbed the judges imagination and we crowned them the winners, meaning that Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust would give £2,000 of building materials and labour to create the farm.

It will teach pupils how to nurture and study small animals, ranging from rabbits to ducks. The school provides specialist support for 11 to 19 year olds with communication and interaction needs living in the Aylesbury Vale district.

Andrew Rysdale, Head of Asset Management at Vale of Aylesbury Trust, who told the school they had won the competition live on air said:

"Pebble Brook's idea opens the door to a whole new way of learning. The fact that it will be integrated into the pupils' curriculum, with the prospect of gaining a qualification is an outstanding opportunity and one that we have had the pleasure of being involved in from start to finish."

David Miller, Head Teacher at Pebble Brook, said:

"Vale of Aylesbury Housing have been absolutely fantastic from the start of this development, from planning the build to finding the animals locally. The pupils and all of the teaching staff are excited to see the finished farm and will certainly benefit from all of the effort that has been put into making the project a success."

community challenge


One the rabbits at the farm was without a name, so we asked you!

Thank you for all your suggestions - in the end the overwhelming favourite was Pebbles (we see what you did there!) so that's what the bunny is now called.

Here's Pebbles with Darren and Katy.


The cost of the project, through generous donations from the Trust, Travis Perkins, Enterprise and Amey, now totals over £10,000 - including labour and materials.

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Community Challenge Podcasts

Community Challenge Podcasts

These podcasts will be giving up to date information on the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust Community Challenge. The contractors are at Pebble Brook School putting together the Urban Farm. Listen to the podcasts below for information on what is happening.

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Jimi Bryan from the Landscape Group

Jimi Bryan from the Landscape Group gives us information about the new section of land that is being rotavated and turfed for a vegetable patch.

David Miller, Pebble Brook School Headteacher keeps us up to date

We talk to David Miller, Headteacher from Pebble Brook School about what is happening down at the Urban Farm.

Amey give back to the community, at the Urban Farm

We talk to David O'Connor from Amey also know as Enterprise about what they are doing at the Urban Farm.

The work has begun at Pebble Brook School

We talk to Andrew Rysdale, Head of Asset Management at Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust about what is happening at the Urban Farm and Pebble Brook School over the next 2 weeks.


Congratulations to Pebble Brook School in Aylesbury, who are our Community Challenge winners. They will benefit from up to £2000 of building materials and labour to help build their "urban farm". Here's their nomination from Head Teacher David Miller;

"We are a community school for local children with a range of communication and learning disabilities.  There are 99 pupils on role aged 11-19 years.  We have doubled in size over the past year and desperately need to upgrade our facilities."

"Our project is an 'urban farm' for small animal care.  We want to clear out some waste ground and build suitable facilities for small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens, as well as a learning areas for our children to use.  A grant of this amount would help us buy and install a large shed area for the pupils working on the farm to base themselves.  Not only would this project increase the pupils understanding of animal care, they would also be able to gain formal qualifications.  We would also share our facilities with other local schools and organisations."

The Judges from Vale of Aylesbury Housing also said

"We were so taken with the appeals that we have selected two runner ups: The Grove, Walton Road (who support local children with respite care), and Aylesbury and District Citizen Advices Bureau. As runners up the Trust will look to take on some of their requests and will definitely make a difference to their premises – and make things more comfortable for their clients."

All materials and labour will be supplied by Enterprise, Apollo and Travis Perkins and entries are open to schools, charities and non-profit making organisations in Buckinghamshire.