Children from across Kent and Medway have been gaining first-hand experience of the work that goes into putting food on their plate.
Almost 3,000 children from 53 schools attended the Living Land festival, a free day of activities and exhibits organised by Kent County Agricultural Society and supported by the Rochester Bridge Trust.
The day aims to educate seven to nine-year-olds in farming, agriculture, horticulture and the countryside by taking them on a journey around the showground.
James Forknall, Chairman of Kent County Agricultural Society, explained: “The grounds are split into areas: Touch & Taste, Animals, Sheep Show, Birds of Prey, and Discovery & Machinery. Each zone gives children a different experience, demonstrating the diversity of the farming sector and ensuring there’s something to appeal to all interests.”
Now in its 16th year, Living Land activities included introducing children to different breeds of livestock; animal experiences; the opportunity to taste a range of Kent products; and vintage machinery demonstrations.
The Rochester Bridge Trust was located in the Discovery & Machinery zone, having established a three-year funding agreement worth £25,000.
The Trust’s Operations Manager Andrew Freeman explained: “Since its foundation in medieval times, the Rochester Bridge Trust has relied upon an extensive portfolio of farmland to generate income to fund its works. This sponsorship agreement is one of the ways we are able to acknowledge the important role farming has played in the history of the Trust while supporting the sector for the future.
“Our stand was staffed by three students who make up the first intake of our Spence Agricultural Scholars, giving younger visitors the opportunity to learn about farming from people much closer to their own age. It was a very successful and enjoyable event.”
Also on the Rochester Bridge Trust stand was Pumpkin Moon, a tenant of the Trust at Boarley Farm near Maidstone, which ran a squash lucky dip, with children selecting a seed to plant and take to the classroom as a growing memento from the day.
Living Land took place at the Kent Showground in Detling, on Thursday, 2nd May. The event is free but must be booked and can only be attended by children in educational groups and their teachers. See http://kentshowground.co.uk/living-land-2 to find out more.
For more information about the Trust’s engineering education activities visit www.rocheterbridgetrust.org.uk or see www.rbt.org.uk to find out more about the Rochester Bridge Trust and its historic estate.