More than 50 schoolchildren in the south-west took an important step in learning where their food comes from as part of the regional roll-out of the Year of Food and Farming.

The children, from Bathford Primary School, walked the three miles to Julian and Rose Harris’ 80ha (200-acre) Warleigh Lodge Farm near Bath, Somerset, where they learned about animal husbandry and growing wheat to make bread.

Organisers hope this week’s school visit will lead to 90,000 pupils getting on to farms in the south-west region.

The Year of Food and Farming aims to reconnect children with food and the countryside, promote healthier living by offering children direct experience of food, farming and the countryside and create, first-hand experiences of farming that children will remember.

Bathord Primary School pupilsKaren Sykes, a teacher at Bathford School said the children benefited in many ways from visiting the farm. “The hands-on experiences the children have on the farm are invaluable in helping them learn and become more environmentally and socially aware of their surroundings.”

Farming & Countryside Education (FACE) chairman John Lee said: “Educationalists, environmentalists, farmers and food producers all agree that helping children to explore where their meals come from is the most effective way for them to learn about the food chain.

“In the south-west we have a strong food and farming industry, but we want to ensure that all 2600 schools and 700,000 pupils in the region have the opportunity to learn more about food and farming and their impact on their lives.”

Julian and Rose Harris have received training under the Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme and the campaign aims to increase the number of CEVAS-trained farmers in the region from 140 to 240. “We enjoy hosting the children, it’s fun for us and we hope to make it educational and fun for the children and teachers,” said Mr Harris.

  • Prince of Wales opens farm to children – pictures, p21.