29 November 2021

Are you a farmer thinking of applying for Countryside Stewardship payments next year? If so, did you know that educational access payments are available as part of Mid-Tier payments? 

If this is news to you then you are not alone, many farmers are missing out on funding. The Countryside Stewardship Scheme opens for applications again in February 2022 and the Country Trust is encouraging as many farmers as possible, who are eligible and willing to host visits, to apply.  

Don’t worry if you haven’t hosted farm visits in the past, our locally based Farm Discovery Coordinators can support you with all aspects of arranging a visit, from identifying the school, designing the visit, providing guidance to help you write your Risk Assessment and supporting you on the day. 

Just now our services are in higher demand than ever before. We believe this is because our visits offer the balance of emotional, physical, social and educational development teachers are seeking out, especially for those children who have been most affected by the pandemic. However, the demand for visits is greater than the availability of farmer hosts and we have an urgent need for more farmers to come forward.   

“It 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.” 

Christy Willett, Host Farmer, Essex 

On a Country Trust visit, urban children from disadvantaged areas spend time with a farmer, join in hands-on activities, discover where their food comes from, and have a great day out.  Our aim is for children to access the wellbeing benefits and gain confidence in the countryside but also to understand where and how their food is produced and the importance of the choices they make for their own health and the health of our countryside. 

The more the public, and especially school children, get to visit, and experience  first-hand  where their food comes from, the more they will appreciate, support and champion our farmers. Farmers for their part, can share their passion for farming, and help to spark  that  same  interest  in  the next generation, as well as  showcase careers in farming and make meaningful connections with their consumers.   

We are working with Defra, the Rural Payments Agency and Land App to promote the availability and uptake of educational access payments. Look out for more details on our website early in the new year.    

Nina Bell - Policy Lead

Students stamping on the ground
Students in a field with a farmer
Students on a farm with a farmer