South East children connect with countryside

Two thousand three hundred children aged ten and eleven, from 51 schools across Sussex and Surrey, visited the Ardingly Showground [July 18] to discover more about where their food comes from and all aspects of rural life.
At the seventh Connect with the Countryside Day, pupils and their teachers had a brilliant day in the sunshine gaining a better understanding of countryside issues, thanks to over 100 volunteers from the South of England Agricultural Society.
Said Mr Hughes, Assistant Head Teacher of Upper Beeding Primary School, “It’s a brilliant day! We come here every year just for the children to experience rural life and agriculture and this day brings all that – we are a rural school but a lot of our children still don’t come into contact with the surrounding countryside.”
Said Mrs Lewis from Globe Primary in Lancing, “I think it’s useful for the children to see how food is made because they don’t actually know where it comes from.”
“We do now!” chipped in her pupils when she was asked this question!
Four special zones included Livestock, where children met a range of farm animals, from Sussex Beef bulls to chickens; Horticulture and Food, where children learnt about healthy food, tasting local tomatoes, fresh milk and honey and discovering how sausages, bread and butter are made; and two Wildlife and Recreation zones also offered important countryside topics, such as nature conservation, forestry and countryside sports.
The Sheep Show, including sheep shearing, a Pony Club display and a Birds of Prey demonstration also delighted the children.
Said Derek Cleaver, the Society’s Education Committee, “This exciting, interactive day, offered free to schools, captures the very essence of the Society’s charitable and educational aims and we would like to thank all who helped to make it such a success today.” 
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