Records broken as children find out where their food comes from

Thropton First School pupils with Chillingham cattle skulls.
Thropton First School pupils with Chillingham cattle skulls.

More than 1,650 children from 40 schools learnt from over 65 exhibitors about the importance of farming in their community.

The 14th Glendale Agricultural Society’s (GAS) annual Children’s Countryside Day, held near Wooler last Thursday, gave children the chance to meet farmers, food producers, their products and animals.

Pupils take a close look at hens at the Bedmax Shavings exhibition at Children's Countryside Day.

Pupils take a close look at hens at the Bedmax Shavings exhibition at Children's Countryside Day.

Originally known as the Classroom in the Countryside, the multi-award-winning educational day encourages children, aged between eight and 10, to quite literally grow their knowledge and give them a detailed insight into what life is like in the countryside at all levels.

With combines and tractors, sheep shearing, cattle and rural pursuits, the children who attended from schools across Northumberland and Tyneside had a day to remember in more ways than one.

And one thing that they certainly learnt was that their food does not start life in a supermarket.

Lord James Joicey, GAS president, said the event had been a huge success.

Shilbottle pupils visit the Greenvale potatoes stand.

Shilbottle pupils visit the Greenvale potatoes stand.

“The countryside has been brought alive at all levels,” he said.

“The children have learnt about fishing and forestry, game-keeping and grain handling, sheep shearing and cheese-making.

“The advantage we hope for teachers is that we have provided them with a platform, the countryside, to teach children where their food comes from and to demonstrate its importance to their day-to-day lives.”

Event manager Rachael Tait added: “We have had the most fantstic record-breaking day in more ways than one. In a single day, more children than ever before have attended, we have had more educational exhibits than ever before and we have had an unbelievable amount of support from sponsors and volunteers.

Visiting the Shire horses.

Visiting the Shire horses.

“I truly hope that, with the ongoing support for so many individuals and organisations across the region, we can continue to offer this countryside classroom to children for many more years to come.”

The event is free for all schools, which is only possible as a result of the sponsorship and support it receives from volunteers and businesses, including Northumberland National Park, KP Snacks, Morrison’s, Tesco, Savills, Strutt & Parker and The Carr-Ellison Charitable Trust.

Prior Park pupils with a vintage tractor at Children's Countryside Day.

Prior Park pupils with a vintage tractor at Children's Countryside Day.

Learning about our daily bread.

Learning about our daily bread.

School flags at Children's Countryside Day near Wooler.

School flags at Children's Countryside Day near Wooler.