Youngsters and parents given ‘eye opening’ Christmas country trip
- Credit: The Country Trust
School children from urban areas have had their eyes opened by the magic of nature at Christmas time on a special trip with their parents in tow.
Schools from urban areas across Suffolk are visiting Shimpling Park Farm, near Bury St Edmunds, throughout December to make Christmas wreaths in a programme organised by the Country Trust.
Emma Ince, deputy head teacher at Tudor CEVA Primary in Sudbury who visited on Wednesday December 11, praised the trip last year and how important it was to the families.
"For some of our mums and dads, today was a huge leap forward in their lives," she said.
"For a few, it was the first time they had been on a school trip, or perhaps done anything creative with their child.
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"Watching their relaxed and happy faces was truly delightful for me and my teaching assistants."
The Country Trust, an educational charity, has organised the trips to give children a chance to enjoy a farm walk, forage for wreath making materials such as willow and greenery, and then sample hot chocolate and biscuits whilst they make the wreaths with their parents.
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Alice Pawsey, the farmer host at Shimpling, said: "I adore having children on the farm, we have huge fun.
"Their eyes are opened to a world that is critically important to them but they often know nothing about.
Mrs Pawsey added: "The genuine excitement I get when I hear pupils exclaim that they don't want to go home, they want to stay, they want to come back, they want to be farmers.
"It makes me know that encouraging children to come and see what we do on farms and in the countryside is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done."
The Country Trust said the visits were particularly special for parents who may need extra support and encouragement to become involved in school life.
The trips ran from Tuesday December 10 until Thursday December 12 and this year the farm has been visited by Westgate Primary in Bury St Edmunds, Tudor CEVA Primary and Morland CEVA Primary in Ipswich.
The charity focuses on children living in areas of higher than average disadvantage to offer additional education.