From farm to fork, schoolchildren learn where our food comes from

Jim Glover, High Sheriff of Surrey, Freya and Max, 11, from St Mark's CE School, Brighton (Photograph: Southern News & Pictures)
Jim Glover, High Sheriff of Surrey, Freya and Max, 11, from St Mark's CE School, Brighton (Photograph: Southern News & Pictures)

Schoolchildren from Brighton and Hove visited the South of England Showground in Ardingly to learn about farming and agriculture.

The Connect With The Countryside event on Thursday (July 12), saw 2,400 primary school from 50 schools across Sussex and Surrey to learn more about British agriculture.

Grace, 10, from Rudyard Kipling Primary School with Robert Cruise from The Outdoors Project and mum Stephanie (Photograph: Southern News & Pictures)

Grace, 10, from Rudyard Kipling Primary School with Robert Cruise from The Outdoors Project and mum Stephanie (Photograph: Southern News & Pictures)

Brighton and Hove schools at the event included Rudyard Kipling Primary School, St Mark’s CE School and Carden Primary School.

Youngsters got to meet a range of farm animals, from cattle to chickens, learned about healthy food, as well as nature conservation, forestry and countryside sports such as fishing.

There was also a pony club display, a birds of prey demonstration and countryside crafts, including making corn dollies.

The event was run by The South of England Agricultural Society, which supports farming, agriculture and the countryside in the South of England and has now welcomed nearly 30,000 Year 5 and 6 children to this annual event, which has been running for 13 years.

Josh and Elizabeth, 11, from Carden Primary School, Brighton and Hove (Photograph: Southern News & Pictures)

Josh and Elizabeth, 11, from Carden Primary School, Brighton and Hove (Photograph: Southern News & Pictures)

Luke Richards and Charlene Robertson, teachers from Carden Primary School in Brighton, said: “Our school has been to the Connect with the Countryside day for several years and we are impressed with how they can get in touch with the source of their food and find out about where it comes from. We will be taking back some ideas to our school too, as we keep chickens, have an orchard and grow our own veg among other things!”

The Reverend Mark Betson, chair of the society’s education committee, said, “This day is a fantastic opportunity for school children to become excited about what the countryside offers, from food to recreation and everything in between. We’re blessed with volunteers and experts who are here to peak the imagination of those who may one day go into a career in agriculture and horticulture and we are once again delighted to host the children, to share our knowledge with them and to nurture their interest in all things countryside.”

The Society’s aims are to showcase agriculture and the countryside through annual shows and to serve the rural community by providing educational grants, awards, bursaries and scholarships for people involved in agriculture, horticulture and land-based industries.

For more information on the South of England Agricultural Society, its annual shows and educational programme, visit: www.seas.org.uk