Every year dynamic education charity The Country Trust brings the working countryside alive for nearly 25,000 disadvantaged primary school children through day visits to real working farms. Now, thanks to support from Caterlink, specialist caterers within schools, colleges and universities, children from Kentish Town Church of England Primary School, Brecknock Primary School and Holy Trinity-Primary School in Camden, North London have enjoyed fabulous farm visits to teach them about food, farming and the countryside.
Caterlink, who provide the lunches for all three schools with a focus on local, seasonal food wanted to help the children understand where the food on their dinner plates really comes from. The visits have meant that for many city children, who have never ventured further than their immediate London streets, they have experienced the sights, sounds and smells of a farm and country life for the very first time.
Children from Kentish Town Church of England Primary School and Brecknock Primary School went to Clothall Bury Farm in Hertfordshire where they learned about the wheat growing on the farm, as well as other types of grain – such an important part of school meals from pasta to pudding! They had a wonderful tour of the farm including walking through a fabulous bluebell wood in full bloom. All the children got to climb into the cabin of a huge tractor and were told about the different types of machinery used on the farm to help grow the crops. At Chatham Green Farm in Essex, children from Holy Trinity Primary School explored some of the vast wheat fields on the farm and were able to follow the story of field to fork by making and eating their own flatbread. The final part of the day was enjoying a bug hunt in a nearby field, bringing to life the importance of biodiversity to farming.
Carl Brennan, Class teacher at Brecknock Primary School said “I would highly recommend the experience for children of this age, particularly those in London schools who do not have the chance regularly to immerse themselves in nature!”
Sharon Roberts, Country Trust Farm Discovery Coordinator said, “We are so grateful to Caterlink for their support, without their help visits like these simply wouldn’t happen. For many disadvantaged children, just being out of the city and in the countryside, even for only a few hours, can be thrilling and exciting as well as helping them to expand their horizons. It is connecting what’s grown in the countryside with what children eat for their school lunch that Caterlink are helping to fund.”
Penny Richards, Caterlink’s Divisional Director, said, “Through the Caterlink Foundation we are delighted to support this important initiative. We pride ourselves on providing school meals with a clear provenance trail using fresh regional produce from locally based suppliers. As such, we are delighted to work with the Country Trust to enable pupils from a number of our schools in Camden to experience “life on the farm”.
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