More than 1700 schoolkids to visit Northumberland 'country classroom' for annual Children's Countryside Day

Children's Annual Countryside Day in Wooler
-Credit: (Image: Glendale Agricultural Society)

More than 1700 schoolchildren will visit a countryside classroom in Northumberland this week to learn about where their food comes from.

Pupils from 45 schools aged between seven and nine will visit Wooler to experience hands-on where food comes from and how it is produced. The unique day out for North East schoolchildren is a longstanding event from the Glendale Agricultural Society, which has introduced more than 27,000 schoolchildren, many from urban areas, to the countryside over the last 18 years (though there was an enforced break during the pandemic).

It is aimed at showing children where food comes from and how it is produced, with an emphasis on giving a wider understanding of the countryside, the environment, and the people who work in the rural economy. The Glendale Agricultural Society says that since the event's inception, a growing number of children have gone on to careers in rural industries that they first encountered at Countryside Day.

As well as discovering where food really comes from before its processed and package up, they will see a range of skills required to produce food and children can also try their own country crafts. They may also see a sheep dog demonstration, or try their hand at judging a sheep show.

More than 70 businesses from rural industries will be there on the day to explain not only food production, but other essentials that come from the countryside, such as timber for housebuilding, quarried stone for the building and maintenance of roads, and green energy from wind and solar farms. One part of the day will also focus on the role of the countryside and its guardians in safeguarding land, rivers and streams, and the increasingly important role of the land in environmental regeneration and its role in maintaining the quality of food, air and water.

Robert Brown, local farmer and chair of the Glendale Agricultural Society, said: "The great majority of children grow up in towns and cities without any connection to the countryside at all. We believe we have a responsibility to connect as many children as we can to the land and the absolutely fundamental part it plays in their lives.

"Understanding where your food and drink come from and why its quality matters to your nutrition helps children to understand why healthy eating matters. The Northumberland countryside is a spectacularly wonderful place to be for your physical and mental health and wellbeing too."

The annual Children's Countryside Day takes place at Wooler Showfield on Thursday, June 6.