Girl picking carrots from the ground Girl picking carrots from the ground

Vision and Mission

Connecting children with the land that sustains us all.

The number of children eligible for our work has soared in the last few years, and now stands at 1.1 million, 100,000 more children in the last year alone.

We have also become more aware that there is a widespread lack of understanding, even a disbelief of the day-to-day reality, of the most disadvantaged in our community, and how poverty impacts access to good food, green space, the natural world, and opportunity, which in turn affects diet, health, the ability to participate and the ability to thrive.

Our Mission

Through food, farming and countryside experiences we aim to empower children to be confident, curious and create change in their lives and the world around them so that they and society thrive.

Our Vision

A fair, sustainable and inclusive society in which all children, irrespective of background, are able to thrive and achieve their potential

The Country Trust has prepared an enormously significant call for a change in our education system that has Nature studies embedded in it from the earliest years of our lives. The style the Charity has adopted - informative and wistful – makes the proposal not just compelling, but also moving.

–  Sir Partha Dasgupta (Emeritus Professor, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics University of Cambridge)

 

We deliver our mission through four programmes, and through our policy and campaigns

Our programmes:

All our programmes are designed to create moments that provoke curiosity, making learning irresistible. Children learn most deeply when they are following their natural curiosity as it places them at the centre of their learning. Giving children time, space and the tools to understand the world around them – whether it's in their school grounds, a farm or the beach – allows children to discover for themselves the wonder and connectedness of life. As so many of the children we work with have limited experiences, we ensure that new experiences are crafted carefully and consciously into our programmes.

Farm Discovery: Day visits to working farms for school and community groups.  These are led by our Coordinators who work with host farmers and teachers/group leaders to ensure a safe visit with appropriate sensory experiences and hands-on activities.

Food Discovery: A Country Trust Coordinator takes a class on a journey through food: growing vegetables, preparing and cooking meals, tasting produce, visiting local farms, running their own markets, and experiencing the joy of sharing a feast. The depth of the programme gives children the time to explore many aspects of food.

Farm in a Box:  A Box of farm-centred activities and resources created by the Country Trust, delivered by teachers, leaders or practitioners.

  • Farm in a Box Local - created by a local Coordinator with a local farm for a local school, usually in preparation for a Farm Discovery visit​
  • Farm in a Box National - themed boxes funded by different partners, which are ordered, packed and distributed centrally to hundreds of schools which largely have had no previous contact with The Country Trust. 

Countryside Residentials: Immersing children in the countryside for 2-4 days, Coordinators organise and support a tailored programme, including a farm visit, working with teachers and third-party providers to ensure a safe, happy and memorable time away from home.

 

Sustaining Impact: Throughout our programmes we train teachers, formally through CPD and informally through modelling and conversation, resulting in pupils having a deeper and more impactful experience, particularly for children experiencing persistent disadvantage.

 

Our work in influencing government policy: 

The Country Trust is speaking up to ensure food, farming and countryside opportunities and experiences are available to ALL children, especially persistently disadvantaged children.  We know these opportunities offer the right balance of emotional, physical, social, and educational development that benefit children and are vitally important for the future of British agriculture, and for people and the planet to thrive. We are calling for:  ​

  • Every child to have the opportunity to visit a real working farm, to discover through first-hand experience where their food comes from    ​
  • Every child to have the chance to discover the connections between the food they eat, their own health and the health of the planet    ​
  • Every child to develop the confidence and curiosity to explore the natural world.   

 

Campaigns: On December 5th, World Soil Day, we launch our latest campaign, 'Plant Your Pants', which invites families, schools and nurseries across the UK to bury a pair of cotton pants for a few months, get their hands in the soil and together, explore the world beneath our feet. The campaign will run between March and June 2023 and aims to engage 10,500 children.