HRH The Princess Royal opened a new Children’s Rural Education Centre at Plumpton College last week as part of the drive to promote the industry to schoolchildren in the Year of Food and Farming.
The building has been sponsored by a large number of charitable organisations and will form an educational base for the several thousand school children who visit the College estate each year.
Photos shows the new building and HRH talking to schoolchildren working on food projects.
The year of Food and Farming Year aims to give all school children the opportunity to visit farms and food producers, to raise awareness of food production and the importance of farming.
Plumpton’s £100,000-plus centre, part funded by the Kleinwort Trust, is an ongoing contribution to this initiative.
“Taking the farming message to youngsters is a key part of what we do.” explains college principal Des Lambert. “Before foot-and-mouth we had 7500 children a year visiting the site. We want to get back to that and more.”
The 920ha college farm not only provides a backdrop for studies and practical work, it also offers a commercially realistic scenario for industry training, which ranges from short courses and one-day workshops to a thriving work-based training scheme, backed by the College’s Rural Business Management Centre.
With funding from the Learning and Skills Council the Centre offers advice to the industry in its widest form, ranging from new venture start-ups courses to cashflow control,