Be A Host
Hosts are The Country Trust's lifeblood. Quite simply, we could not operate without them. We are very fortunate to have hundreds of dedicated farmers and estate owners throughout the country who throw open their doors to welcome primary age children and teachers from the towns and cities in their region. They do this without charge and accept the children and their teachers as their privately invited guests. Some hosts also go into schools to give talks and hands on workshops.
The benefits to the children are immense, providing them with unique experiences of the countryside that just would not be available to them in the normal course of their lives. They see some of the most beautiful parts of the country and meet the people who are responsible for growing our food and managing the countryside.
Why become a host for The Country Trust?
Christy Willett, host farmer, EssexIt is hugely rewarding welcoming children to our farm to be touched by their raw energy and zest for life. There's nothing better than watching the light bulb moment when a child connects something we are doing to their food.
We hope you will also benefit, should you decide to become a Country Trust host. You'll meet children from communities geographically not far away but who you might otherwise never meet. You'll see the excitement and joy you bring to children who may never have been beyond their neighbourhood. You'll see them begin to shine as they experience the transformational affects of learning outside the classroom, and see them grow in confidence as informed consumers of the future.
Many things we take for granted are special and unique experiences for these children and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Our hosts tell us that receiving a party of school children is a most rewarding experience - watch and listen to John Leigh-Pemberton, a Country Trust host in Kent.
To find out more about becoming a Country Trust host contact Kay Whitfield in the first instance, and she will direct you to The Country Trust member of staff in your area.
How The Country Trust helps
- We have more than 30 years’ experience in organising farm visits
- We undertake all the liaison with schools, including pre-visits, timetables and curriculum links
- We work with you to ensure the visits go smoothly and that you feel confident welcoming a class of children to your farm.
- We will share our generic risk assessment to help you prepare your own for your farm or estate.
What kind of schools might visit your farm?
The Country Trust works with schools in areas of social and economic disadvantage, and schools catering for children with Special Educational Needs. Schools are responsible for the supervision and behaviour of their children at all times during the visit.
What does your farm have to offer?
The Country Trust staff can discuss curriculum links with teachers, and help farmers and teachers to develop activities for the day of the visit. The farm visits can link to all subjects, especially science and geography, design technology, even history, and many teachers use the visit experiences to inspire creative writing, and to give children practical applications for mathematics. Art and creativity, role play and drama can all be part of the visit.
Children learn how and where their food is produced. They learn how farmers work through the seasons planting and growing crops and looking after animals to produce food.
They learn about the vital role of science and technology in farming, and what it means to nurture and care for crops and the land.
As well as the curriculum links, children enjoy real life experiences, vital building blocks for personal development. The awe and wonder of seeing an enormous beef breeding bull, or a newly hatched chick, a lamb being born, the excitement of time spent with a farmer, the space and size of a field, fresh air, silence, are all rich, new experiences that with your help, The Country Trust can offer children who lack opportunity.