Some 6,000 youngsters enjoyed a taste of rural life as they rolled up their sleeves to experience the practicalities and fun of agriculture. Primary school children from around 100 Yorkshire schools visited the Countryside Days event on Tuesday and Wednesday (9 and 10 June) at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.
The event, which is now in its 15th year, is run by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which is best known as the organiser of the Great Yorkshire Show.
Elizabeth Hudson, the Society’s Charitable Activities Manager said: “There is often a big gap in children’s knowledge of where their food comes from. Countryside Days is a hugely popular event which combines fun activities with raising awareness of the vital role British farmers play in putting the food on our plates,” said Elizabeth.
“For some children Countryside Days may be the first time they have seen a real cow or sheep so not only does it create memories but increases knowledge of that vital link between farmers and food. What these youngsters have seen and experienced will hopefully influence their food choices throughout their lives. It may also spark their enthusiasm for a career in what is such a vibrant and varied industry,” she added.
Workshops ranged from watching horses being shod to building dens in the wood, to seeing chicks hatch, all aimed at showing a different aspect of rural life.
Countryside Days is one of several events organized by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society aimed at young people. During the year these include looking at the importance of cereal production and eating healthily through support for National Breakfast Week, Careers in Focus for secondary school children which highlights the wide range of employment opportunities particularly within agriculture and throughout the year the Society runs short courses for primary school teachers where the showground is used as a resource.