The Kent County Agricultural Society, Charitable Activities Committee hosted the 14th Living Land event at the Kent Showground in Detling on Thursday 4 May.
The event which started in 2004 has seen over 40,000 Kent School children attend over the period it has been running. The 2017, ‘Living Land’ was visited by 2,728 children from 52 Kent Primary Schools. The day allows young children to engage in farming, food, healthy eating and the countryside with hands-on displays and demonstrations.
The free, one-day event featured wide-ranging activities from over fifty organisations and initiatives for school children aged seven to nine years old to enjoy. Activities included the chance to get up close to farm animals, meet Kent Young Farmers, taste local produce and watch birds of prey. The mini Kent County Show brings the best of the educational content to ensure the young visitors have a memorable and valuable day of learning.
The ‘Living Land’ has several different interactive zones, which the children have been allocated time slots, ensuring that every visitor can experience the whole range of activities on offer. In the ‘Touch and Taste’ zone children were able to learn about bread making through the ages, make butter and sausages, taste apple juice, learn about different varieties of Kentish apples and pears and make a smoothie. Within the area there were also interactive displays by Kent Beekeepers Association, Produced in Kent and Tesco Farm to Fork. AC Goatham kindly donated 3000 Royal Gala apples which had been grown in Kent so that each child and teacher had the chance to eat or take home an apple.
In the Discovery and Machinery zone, the youngsters were treated to displays about mini-beasts, wool, rope-making, woodland crafts, fishing, bats and Birds of Prey. They were also able to see modern and vintage Farm Machinery close up and take part in a milking challenge.
The Animal Zone proved to be a huge hit with the young visitors who were able to get up-close to a number of cute farm animals including, calves, lambs, pigs, goats and working horses. Kent Young Farmers were on hand to answer questions about farming livestock and answer questions about where meat, milk and wool comes from.
The children also watch two fantastic displays; the Birds of Prey flying demonstration from The Hawking Centre at Doddington and a performance of the brilliant Sheep Show, which explains about sheep breeds and shearing in a light-hearted and educational show.
Hannah Stimpson, Show Organiser, said: “Demand from primary schools to attend the ‘Living Land’ has yet again been huge, with schools eager to take advantage of a fantastic educational opportunity which links in to the current curriculum to offer an invaluable learning experience. The children love getting out of the classroom and into the fresh air where they can find out first-hand the connections between farming and the food they eat.”
The ‘Living Land’ is free for Kent school children to attend and is staged by the Kent County Agricultural Society, a local charity, to engage young people to think about their environment and where food comes from. The event provides a hands-on experience that aims to make learning fun. The Society also runs the annual Kent County Show held on 7, 8, 9 July which promotes farming and demonstrates its importance to the county. For more details on advance discounted tickets, visit www.kentshow.co.uk.
Stuart Gibbons, Charitable Activities Committee Chairman said, “Education is one of the key objectives of the Society, the ‘Living Land’ event is vital to complement the work that schools undertake to expose children to farming, food and the countryside. We are delighted that so many schools take part and every year the feedback is extremely positive. In addition to this event Agricultural Society continues to support farming organisations, give scholarships and help provide much needed financial support to our county’s Young Farmers”.