Farmville fans sought for real-life project

Posted by Kate Taylor

Britain's National Trust - which looks after buildings and other sites of historical interest - is seeking Farmville players who want to put their gaming experience to good use.

The MyFarm scheme is aiming to recruit 10,000 people to manage the working of Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire.

For a £30 annual subscription, users will be able to access video updates, webcams and expert information on how the farm is doing. They can then help to make major monthly decisions on issues such as whether to plant certain crops or buy certain animals.

"It's all about reconnecting people with farming, giving them the chance to get involved with and feel part of the farming community and farming life - and give them a greater understanding on how the food they eat gets to their shopping basket," says director general Dame Fiona Reynolds.

"Our TNS poll showed that only eight per cent of mothers feel confident talking to their children about where their food comes from. That's really poignant."

The first vote will take place on Thursday 26 May 2011, and willbe followed by others, at least once a month, on different issues to do with the everyday running of the farm. The first issues to be tackled will be which crops to grow, which livestock to breed, and the wider impacts of the farm on the local environment and wildlife.

The farm is on the Wimpole Estate, near Royston, and had a reputation as an experimental farm way back in the late 18th century, when it was run by the Earl of Hardwicke.
 
It's around 2,500 acres, with a mix of arable land, pasture, woodland, lakes and gardens, and currently produces meat, eggs, wheat and oil seed rape. The soil is mainly clay and chalk.

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