School serves 'Bambi burgers' from own deer farm

close up shot of a deer
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Maple Hayes Hall Dyslexia School's grounds is home to a herd of 42 deer

  • Published

A school that supports dyslexic children is helping them to learn about farming and food production by serving venison on the menu - from deer wandering the grounds.

Maple Hayes Hall Dyslexia School in Lichfield helps students from across the region who are struggling in mainstream education.

In a bid to boost its sustainability, the venison is sourced from the school's 200-acre estate.

Most pupils enjoy the meals, Sue Martin from the school said, with older ones referring to them as "Bambi burgers".

Understanding the link between farming and the food we eat is a key message from the agricultural community.

The school said serving venison made sense, and offered a chance to teach pupils about the "farm-to-fork" journey.

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Co-Principal Dr Daryl Brown said rearing deer did not take much effort

The specialist school is made up of more than 100 pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), designed to ensure their individual needs are met.

Its adjourning farm was purchased shortly after it opened in 1982 and is home to a herd of 42 deer, including two stags.

Dr Daryl Brown, the co-principal, said: "The idea of having a deer farm was based on it making the place look good and we can use the meat in the school - which is quite logical.

"The effort involved in looking after the deer is not that great so it doesn't interfere with the operations of the school."

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The varied menu has proved to be a hit with the children, Sue Martin said

"Some of the older pupils will say that they have had Bambi burgers but they generally enjoy the meals that they have at lunchtime," added Sue Martin, the school manager and safeguarding lead.

One pupil said: "It's quite nice actually, it's not a hard meat, it's really tender, soft and nice."

Another added: "We usually have lamb some weeks but it's mostly venison, it's really nice."

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