Stone District Agricultural Society helps The Country Trust

Stone Chairman, Antony Key and his wife Ruth
Stone Chairman, Antony Key and his wife Ruth

The Stone and District Agricultural Society has recently given a generous donation towards the work of educational charity, The Country Trust. The cheque will be presented by Stone Chairman, Antony Key and his wife Ruth during a visit by children from Burnwood Community Primary School in Chell Heath, Stoke-on-Trent to their goat farm at Hollywood Cottage, near Stone on 14th September.

Antony said:

‘The Society has an annual raffle to raise money for the Chairman’s chosen charity. I am very happy to be supporting the Country Trust which gives children the opportunity to visit farms. By helping in this way, the members of our district can appreciate the needs of others and raise awareness of the good work of various charities like this one.’

During the course of the day children from Burnwood Community Primary School will learn about milk production from farmer John Millington at Hardiwick Farm on the Sandon Estate. They will see cows milked and Joseph Heler Cheese,will supply some award-winning cheese from their dairy at Laurels Farm, near Nantwich for the children to take home. John Millington said:

‘We get great pleasure from working with The Country Trust. I believe we teach children best by giving them hands on experiences that stay with them, and the Country Trust enables this to happen. Often children arrive and comment immediately on the ‘country smell’, but at the end of the day do not want to leave, or ask when they can return with their families. If we can teach them about food production, animal care and the countryside stewardship at the same time, then everyone wins.’

David Wells of Joseph Heler Cheese said:

’The farms and the cows that supply the milk for our cheese are the first and one of the most important parts of the cheese-making process at Heler’s. We love working with The Country Trust who do such a great job in showing children a real ‘link’ between the farm and the finished cheeses they have in their fridges at home.’

The children will spend their afternoon at Hollywood Cottage which supplies meat to local shops and restaurants.

Burnwood Primary School is in one of the most deprived areas of the country and children from the school have enjoyed numerous countryside experiences with The Country Trust since 2006. Headteacher Diane Herbert said:

’ Many Children from Burnwood Community School may never have the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the working countryside without the help of The Country Trust and the landowners who host these events. We are grateful to them for making this happen and supporting our school in gaining the Food For Life Award. We hope this visit to Hardiwick Farm and Hollywood Cottage helps broaden the children’s understanding of the welfare of animals and where we get good food from.’

The charity’s regional manager Cathy Evans said:

‘It was a lovely surprise to receive money from an organisation so closely associated with our work. I often take children from primary schools in less privileged urban areas on farm visits around Staffordshire, in order to learn how our food is produced and this gift will help to fund these trips in the Stone area.’

If you would like to know more about the work of the Country Trust or wish to make a donation, please visit our website. Go to www.countrytrust.org.uk