A day on the farm with The Country Trust  

In April, Charlotte Wildman, Agricultural Relationship Manager and I (Lydia Aucott, Marketing and Events Executive) were fortunate to be invited out to join The Country Trust on one of their Farm Discovery Visits, a charity who amongst offering other experiences, run educational visits to real working farms for disadvantaged and vulnerable children. The opportunity to bring alive the working countryside for children, who in many cases have never visited a farm, is something we feel is so important, so we have proudly supported The Country Trust as our charity of the year since 2021.  

The Country Trust works nationally and in 2023 facilitated Farm Discovery Visits to almost 23,000 children. These visits work with the farmer hosts taking place on all types of farms, including arable & animal-based set ups throughout the UK. This Farm Discovery Visit was hosted at Lynton Farm, a small working farm in the Oswestry Uplands farming sheep and beef cattle kindly hosted by a father daughter team Tony & Anna (Jones).  

The class of year three children arrived from their school based around 35 miles away from the farm, changed into their wellies and were soon ready to be introduced to the team supporting the day - Kate one of the trusts, Farm Discovery Coordinators alongside Farmer Tony, Farmer Anna and most importantly the farm’s friendly working border collie, Peggy. The children were then guided through a health and safety briefing and an introduction to the farm, gaining some knowledge about the types of farms within the area.  

The children were then split into two groups, first heading to the sheep where Farmer Anna - an accomplished journalist told a marvellous story about Miracle the sheep. Farmer Tony had though that Miracle had been still born but amazingly 20 minutes later she was showing signs of life, and after spending two weeks being carried everywhere in intensive care, she made a miraculous recovery. This tale was followed by the children being led to a field to see Miracle coming down the hill with two of her own lambs! As it was lambing time on the farm, we then headed to the barn to learn about sheep’s wool and listened to why we would need to care for cade (orphaned) lambs.  

Swapping over to the other animals on the farm we had the chance to meet Wonky, the farm’s bull, one of the excited children exclaiming ‘Wow! I have never seen an animal soo big!’. Kate, supported by Farmer Tony discussed some of the misconceptions the children had spoken about in the health and safety briefing and then onto the biggest question of the day, how much does Wonky weigh? A few guesses later ranging from 73.5kgs to 10,000kgs, settling the debate with around 900kg while Wonky unaware chomped down on his fodder beet! 

Heading to lunch, we got the chance to speak to the seasoned Farm Discovery Farmer Host, Tony, having hosted over 20 children’s visits in 2023 alone. He said, ‘The Country Trust are so supportive with getting everything set up and continually supporting, not only us as farmer hosts but also in enabling the children to gain these experiences, its hugely rewarding.’  

After lunch, the children got straight back to it, playing ‘who’s poo’ a challenge of matching the countryside animals’ poop to the animal itself. Then for the best part of the day, because realistically, who doesn’t want to ‘Plant your pants’? The group learnt about the importance of microorganisms in the soil and then planted a pair of cotton pants which will be returned to them to see the results in eight weeks’ time.  

If you would like to see how you can get involved with The Country Trust or would like to donate, please visit The Country Trust website to find out more. As a Farmer host, depending on your location, there may be payments and government grants available to help run the visits.  

A huge thank you to Mary, Kate and Victoria from The Country Trust, and the farmer hosts for enabling and allowing us to join this visit, we are looking forward to our next fundraising event soon!