A record 2,900 children from over 60 Kent schools attended Living Land, an event designed to educate children aged 7-9 on farming, agriculture, horticulture and the countryside, on Thursday May 4, 2023.
The one day event, organised by the Kent County Agricultural Society, had five interactive areas to engage the young visitors, including the Animal Zone, Touch & Taste Zone and Discovery & Machinery Zone. Children were able to meet a range of farm animals, including sheep, pigs, goats, cows and alpacas and they learnt farming livestock and how they are reared for food and animal-based products.
The Animal Zone also saw dog displays, working horses, as well as a working milking parlour and sheep shearing demonstrations. A live birds of prey display showed how they can be used as an eco-friendly pest deterrent by farmers, and a performance of the Sheep Show was both entertaining and educational.
A visit to the Touch & Taste Zone saw exhibitors including Wild Classroom, National Fruit Show and Biddenden Vineyards give children the opportunity to learn about local produce and take part in a range of activities such as smoothie making, honey and fruit tasting. The Discovery & Machinery zone was attended by Crawfords and Tuckwells along with Kent Bat Group, Historic Dockyard, RNLI and Wessex Archaeology to name a few.
Nikki Dorkings, general manager at Kent County Agricultural Society, said: “Living Land is a fantastic event and we’re so pleased that more children than ever have been able to enjoy it this year. It’s wonderful to see the excitement from the children taking part in all the activities and the atmosphere is just buzzing.”
The one-day event is free for Kent based primary schools, aiming to give children experiences within farming and the countryside, as well as educating them in where food comes from and the importance of preserving the countryside at the natural environment. Living Land is part of the Kent County Agricultural Society’s wider initiative to encourage education and development in farming.
Julian Barnes, society chairman, said: “Making sure children have access to these opportunities no matter their background is extremely important to the future of farming. There are so many diverse professions within the industry, and we hope giving children a taster of these inspires some of them to pursue agricultural careers in the future.
“I also want to say a huge thank you to our kind sponsors, The Rochester Bridge Trust and the Wheeler Foundation, as well as all the exhibitors who gave up their time, without who the event wouldn’t be possible.”
Living Land 2024 applications open later this year and spaces are reserved on a first come first served basis. If you are interested in finding out more about this event, email [email protected].