2, 824 children from 48 schools across Kent attended the Living Land last week, a free educational event organised by the Kent County Agricultural Society, to learn about farming and where food comes from.
The Living Land is a free, one day event that aims to educate children in Years 3 and 4 on farming, agriculture, horticulture and the countryside. Children in attendance were able to learn about local produce by making their own apple juice and butter as well as having a go at milking a cow. A live birds of prey demonstration taught how these animals are used as an eco-friendly pest deterrent by farmers, and animal displays allowed children to meet lambs, goats and cows. On show was also the story of how a sheep’s fleece becomes a woolly jumper and incubators holding eggs with hatching chicks. Displays of vintage and modern tractors showed just how much farming has changed over the years.
Teachers from Greatstone Primary School said ‘We all had a brilliant day! The shows were fantastic, the children loved being able to interact with the animals and the tasting and discovery sessions had a lovely range of stalls.’ West Borough School also said ‘A well organised day with an educational focus, all children came back to school having learnt something new.’
Event Organiser, Hannah Stimpson, commented ‘It was amazing to see the children interacting with the animals and displays and learning about where their food comes from. The Kent County Agricultural Society aims to promote education in farming and related industries so it’s great to see that objective come alive in such an interactive and hands on day for children.’
Children started the day with a visit to the Touch & Taste Area, where local producers had on display a variety of food and produce for children to taste and learn about where it came from and how it was made. The Animal Area allowed children to interact with lambs, sheep, goats, cows and horses and learn about the roles these animals play in farming. The Sheep Show then provided a live show about different breeds of sheep and their attributes followed by a demonstration of birds of prey. Finally, the Discovery & Machinery Area had farming machinery for children to learn about as well as representatives from the Kent Bat Group, Kent Poultry Club and other groups.
The Living Land is held annually at the Kent Showground, home of the Kent County Show, and is free for all schools based in Kent. The event is part of the Kent County Agricultural Society’s wider initiative to encourage education and development in farming, including a scholarship scheme and funding for Kent Young Farmers’ Clubs. To find out how to attend the Living Land or get involved in other Society initiatives, visit www.kentshowground.co.uk