Each year, the South of England Showground opens its doors to provide a free educational day for primary school children across the region, known as Connect with the Countryside.
Connect with the Countryside is a fun, educational day which offers pupils the opportunity to discover more about where their food comes from, farming, the countryside and the environment.
On the day, The South of England Showground is transformed into 4 learning zones, where livestock, farm machinery, wildlife and locally produced food are all on display to be explored and enjoyed. A diverse range of hands-on activities are designed to bring learning to life and support the National Curriculum.
This year, over 2,500 pupils from 50 local schools attended. Debbie Wood is the Education Development Executive at the South of England Agricultural Society (SEAS), which organises the event.
She said: “The day is a huge event to organise and when it all comes together it's so rewarding - to see children find out about all the animals, see where their food comes from, that milk actually comes from cows and eggs come from chickens.”
For the third year running, Tangmere Airfield Nurseries supported the event, bringing a display to explain the growing journey of peppers from plant to plate. The children could taste the peppers and give feedback on their favourite.
Chris Dent, SEAS steward and representative of St Peter’s School, Henfield, said: “It’s lovely to see the kids getting involved and realising that their food does not just come ready-made on the shelves. I encourage them to taste the foods they may not have tried before.”
To date, over 20,000 children have visited the Connect with the Countryside day and is one of The Society’s most important events for promoting knowledge and understanding in the countryside.