Devon County Council supported by Property Management Consultants, NPS South West held the annual ‘Farmwise’ event for school children at Westpoint, Exeter. Now in its’ fourth year, this unique one-day event attracted over 1,400 school children from across Devon. This now brings the total number of school children engaged with Farmwise education to 11,000.
Farmwise is a collaboration of Devon County Council, it’s farm tenants and NPS South West, together with a number of other sponsors and volunteer organisations. The event sees the estates farm tenants attend with their cows and calves, sheep and lambs, pigs, goats, ducks, chickens and quail, machinery and equipment and set up educational ‘zones’ for the children. The purpose of the event is to educate children about farms and farm produce from gate to plate, and to connect them with their sources of food. Working closely with partners, Farmwise has grown to be very popular with schools, children and teachers and is now the leading farm education event in the surrounding areas.
The children took part in hands on activities in 12 different zones, both inside and outside the Westpoint Arena, learning where their food comes from first hand. They could touch, feel and even smell how farms work, and the day provided a real opportunity for the children to get a hands on experience with the animals.
There are many ‘zones’ and activities for the children to get really stuck in to, which include: workshops on how to make butter and cheese; demonstrations on how to care and look after farm animals; learning about fruits, seeds and composting as well as the children using pedal power on bikes to blend and make delicious fresh smoothies.
Talking about Farmwise, Alison Reid – NPS South West Farmwise Event Coordinator said: “It is really important for NPS to be involved with Farmwise, and to give school children across Devon the opportunity to learn about farming. We manage Devon County Council’s farms estates together with providing other private sector landlords, tenants and owner occupiers with rural professional advice. It is vital that we educate our children about the importance of sustainable sources of food to support the future of farming in our county. It was great to see so many children attend and participate in this years’ event, and we are already looking forward to Farmwise in 2017.”