Farming and countryside

It is vitally important that children and young people have experience of visits to working farms and to other countryside locations. Here they can gain an understanding of how their food is produced and how the land is managed. In this way they will be able to make more informed choices about the food they eat, meet with opportunities for outdoor leisure activities and take some responsibility for the care of the countryside.

Access to Farms

A partnership of 15 national organisations aiming to improve the availability and quality of educational access to farms by schools. The partnership shares information and good practice, arranges joint educational projects, accredits farms that work with school groups, provides training and manages an online database allowing teachers to identify the nearest or most suitable farm to visit.

British Potato Council

A host of games and resources for schools, plus free potatoes to grow.

The Countryside Foundation for Education

CFE aims to provide opportunities for schools to experience all aspects of the countryside by organising events specifically for schools on estates and at country fairs.

The Country Trust

A small organisation that arranges for schools from inner city areas to visit farms and estates and to come into contact with those working in the countryside.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

The website pages on walks and rides give details and maps for more than 1800 walks, rides and areas of open access provided under the Countryside Stewardship, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Environmental Stewardship Schemes. Also links to farms that can be visited.

Farming and Countryside Education

FACE works with schools, farms and member organisations to stimulate interest and excitement in pupils and teachers through visiting and understanding the countryside. The website offers a wealth of resources, including farm profiles, and ‘Why Farming Matters’ available both for primary and secondary schools. Help for teachers to ensure that a trip will be well planned and safe can be found on the farm visits pages within the resources section.

The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens

Represents the many community-run farms and gardens across the country. These are mainly found in urban areas and range from small vegetable plots to farms with a range of animals. Many have an education officer eager to work with schools.

Growing Schools

A government programme to encourage and inspire all schools to use the outdoor classroom, both within and beyond the school grounds, as a context for learning across the curriculum. It focuses in particular on food, farming and the countryside. The website has extensive resources with links to places to visit, news and events. www.teacher

Home Grown Cereals Authority

HGCA have produced a website to help children understand how their food is produced and suggests ways to investigate food in the classroom, with a number of free resources.

Linking Environment and Farming

LEAF is a national organisation promoting a system of farming that balances environmental concerns with the needs of the farm as a business through integrated farm management. Many member farms are keen to work with schools and to arrange visits.

National Farm Attractions Network

NFAN is a membership-based organisation for providers of farm and rural attractions. You can search the website by region.

National Farmers Union

The NFU have produced an online publication, Farm, Food and Countryside, to help promote a deeper and more balanced understanding of the countryside.

The Soil Association

This is the national body overseeing organic farming in the UK. The education area of the site gives help in organising farm visits, and has virtual farm trails plus primary and secondary classroom resources.

Tractors in Schools

Takes tractors into school playgrounds and encourages children to share knowledge about the tractor and its role in food production and other industries. Visits are open to both primary and secondary schools. Tractorman is a unique resource giving cross-curricular ideas based around the tractor.

The Year of Food and Farming 2007/08

This industry-led initiative aims to increase children’s understanding of the food they eat and how it is produced and prepared. It brings together a number of opportunities for schools offered by a range of providers.