The Country Trust brought farming to urban North Tyneside as part of our 2021 summer holiday programme. More than forty children from our Summer Holiday Kids Club, aged 5 to 13 years old, enthusiastically enjoyed tasting sessions, hands on investigations and the simple joys of plunging hands into soft flour they had milled themselves from wheat grown on local arable farms.

“I didn’t know cheese was all so different. I liked Red Leicester best!” said one surprised little boy through a mouthful of Cheddar.

“My butter is delicious – I’m taking some home for my mam and dad,” said one proud eight year old.

“I loved how flour feels when you mix it with water – it’s so squishy!” exclaimed a sticky fingered little girl.

Even the older children couldn’t resist getting involved, and phones were soon discarded in favour of shaking pots of double cream to make butter, or milking a rubber glove, which in the summer heatwave, involved refreshing sprays of water and hoots of laughter.

“It was all mint, like!” concluded one teenager with a grin.

The sessions were an extension of the Country Trust’s successful Farm in a Box programme, but delivered, not by teachers in school, but by the charity’s own NE Coordinators ‘The two Sues’.

       

“It has been incredibly valuable to actually deliver activities we normally only supply, and so rewarding to see the reaction of the children first hand,” said Sue Charlton, Food Discovery Coordinator.

Both The Country Trust and Meadow Well Connected are supported by Northumberland Estates  and were introduced by Vanessa Proudlock, the Estate’s Community Engagement Manager.

Sue Thompson, Country Trust Coordinator and Fundraiser explained, “Both organisations have benefited from Northumberland Estate’s Charity of the Year award, and we share many common aims. It was a privilege to be introduced to the hardworking team in Meadow Well and meet the bright, funny and curious youngsters they serve. I am really looking forward to their farm visits at the start of August.”

The Country Trust is committed to outreach into vulnerable communities and offers occasional holiday programmes to support its core work delivering farm visits and food discovery programmes for primary schools throughout the year.

To find out more see www.countrytrust.org.uk