Next week sees the first of this summer’s school visits to the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) research farm. Children from Holy Cross Catholic Primary School in Leicester will be visiting the Allerton Project at Loddington to explore the farm. They will get involved in a range of activities to learn about food production, tree identification, and farming history, as well as seed dispersal and pollination.
Hundreds of children have visited the Allerton Project since its school events were launched in 2010. Next week’s visit is being run in partnership with the Country Trust and is the first of eight such visits booked for this summer.
Gwyneth Shilleto, Country Trust Farm Discovery Co-ordinator for Leicestershire says: “The Country Trust is dedicated to bringing alive the working countryside for those children least able to access it. We provide transformative countryside educational experiences that can have long lasting impact. I know from experience how much the children will enjoy and learn from this fantastic visit to the Allerton Project”.
“Many families just don’t have the money for day trips, holidays, and all the sorts of experiences that fuel children’s imagination, expand their vocabulary, build their self-confidence, and get them fired up to learn more about the world around them. Country Trust programmes help to fill that gap with hands-on experiences of food, farming and the countryside.”
The Allerton Project’s Head Training and Development, Jim Egan says: “While research is core to the Allerton Project, we take our educational responsibilities very seriously. These days are a real highlight of my working year. The children have a great day out and go away happy, without realising they have learned some maths, English, science, geography and history, as well as about all the good work Farmer Phil does to produce food and look after wildlife.”
“We are delighted to be working with the Country Trust who help us build the contact with schools as well as providing invaluable help on the day”
This is the first of the 2016 series of school events, during which over 200 children from across the East Midlands will be visiting the farm.
Notes to editors
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 40 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.
The GWCT’s Allerton Project: The GWCT’s Allerton Project is an 800 acre commercial farm business attached to a Research and Educational charitable trust. The Project was established in 1992 with the objective of demonstrating how modern efficient farming and environmental conservation can co-exist. The development of the education objectives of the Trust has expanded substantially to several thousand visitors a year including school groups, politicians and farmers, thus necessitating the construction of a larger visitor centre. The challenge of converting a disused brick cowshed into a sustainable building was given to architect Sylvester Cheung from Melton Mowbray. 60 per cent of construction costs were obtained as a grant from the Rural Development Programme for England.