The Country Trust has recently organised and delivered ten Farm Discovery visits for children experiencing disadvantage, as part of the Year of Green Action (YoGA). The £5,000 project funded by Defra and supported by Natural England enabled The Country Trust to bring the countryside alive for over 220 children, connecting them with the natural world, enhancing their understanding and giving them new insights into how they might help to protect their environment.
The children, taking part in visits across the North West, North East and West Midlands, have met dairy herds, investigated habitats, seen lambing in action and looked inside molehills. They’ve also found out about the story of milk and taste-tested ice cream. At the end of the visits, children have taken away further activities to do in school – from planting their own peas and beans along with wildflower seeds to create their own school field margins to finding out about the geography of cheese production in the UK.
Farmer Tom Richardson from Wheelbirks Dairy Farm, in Northumberland, said: “Responsible farmers understand that you can’t just take from the land, you have to put something back in. I think it is so important that children understand what it takes to make the food they eat and where it comes from, and the consequences of those choices.”
Teacher Danielle Copestick said: “Many children have limited experience of the countryside and have not been to a farm before. The visit has inspired incredible questions and curiosity and gives us so much material to use back in class.”
The Country Trust is an educational charity that provides free visits to farms across England and North Wales along with year-long food and growing programmes and residential visits. To find out more visit www.countrytrust.org.uk