The Englefield Estate has launched ‘Countryside Days for Schools online’ with a series of educational videos on forestry, farming and the countryside.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Countryside Days for Schools or ‘Schools Days’, which was first held in 1997, has had to be cancelled for the first time.
To bring the experience to children virtually, the Estate team have produced the series of free-to-access videos.
Dr Liz Mattison, the Estate’s Community and Education Officer, said: “Schools Days is such an exciting event and gives children the chance to get hands-on learning experiences in farming, horticulture, construction, and forestry. As we are sadly unable to invite the children here this year, for their own safety as well as that of our staff and volunteers, we were keen to give a taste of the experience.
“The videos include ideas for outdoor learning, an introduction to the countryside code and how we can all respect and enjoy the environment, as well as teaching children about wildflowers, farming and forestry. We hope that families will watch them together and young minds will be engaged and inspired.”
Video topics cover the farming year, a working forest, the countryside code, how plants grow, and how to identify local flowers. More videos on wildlife, horticulture and the environment are going to be added throughout the year.
Richard Benyon, Chairman of Englefield Estate, said: “Schools Days was developed over 20 years ago to take local school children out of the classroom and into the countryside to help them discover what is involved in helping to make it a great place to live, work and play.
“We’re looking forward to inviting children back in 2021, but in the meantime these videos will help children and adults discover more about the world around them for themselves and give them some ideas for activities to keep young minds engaged.”
The first Schools Days event in 1997 hosted 315 children from five schools in Berkshire. In 2019 over 3,000 children from 50 primary schools across the county attended, free of charge.
To view the Countryside Days for Schools online content, visit www.englefieldestate.co.uk/community/education/schools-day.