6 April 2023
Farmer Host, Andrew, shares his experience of hosting his farm, Claxby Grange, with the Country Trust.
At the Country Trust, we take care of all the organisation and provide experienced Coordinators to ensure the day runs smoothly. To get a taste of what it is like to be a Farmer Host, we spoke to Farmer Andrew about his experience of hosting his farm with The Country Trust.
Andrew has been confidently hosting educational visits on his farm with the Country Trust for 4 years and knows how daunting the first visit can be. Thankfully, it gets easier – and even more enjoyable!
Why did you become a Farmer Host?
I became a host because I enjoy taking children around the farm and showing them what farmers get up to throughout the year. It gives me a great deal of pleasure seeing the children interacting with this new environment, using all their senses to help them make connections between food and farming.
Why do you believe it is important to host Farm Discovery visits?
It is so important to get children on the farm. Their faces light up when they smell the fresh air, hear different noises, and feel different plants, grains, and soils. Seeing them interacting with the farm and understanding what happens here is wonderful to experience and allows us to give children an opportunity to explore the connections between food and farming on a real working farm that they would otherwise not receive.
What support do you receive from The Country Trust?
The Country Trust Coordinators are amazing. They do a lot of organising before the visit to ensure the day runs smoothly, such as undertaking all the planning needed with schools, including pre-visits, curriculum links and timetables. All I need to do is share my expertise on the day!
Talk us through your first visit
My first visit as a host farmer was slightly nerve-racking, but after the first, it is much easier. The children enjoy their day, and the teachers are a tremendous help with their children. Coordinators are by your side throughout the visit, which makes an enormous difference as you are fully supported and encouraged to make the day as enjoyable and educational as possible for the children.
Do you receive financial support?
Yes - I get paid by the Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier and receive £309 per visit.
UK farmers can be rewarded for welcoming school visits to their farms through the government’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme. These Educational access payments (ED1) can make a huge difference to farmers. But many are missing out.
The final window to claim Countryside Stewardship is NOW OPEN (see here). This could be the last chance for farmers to claim Educational Access payments.
Get in touch with the Country Trust: email@example.com. One of our team will be able to provide guidance on: