Pupils connect with countryside

Primary school children buried a time capsule at the event. Picture: Simon Dack
Primary school children buried a time capsule at the event. Picture: Simon Dack
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Primary school children buried a time capsule, capturing a snapshot of living in the British countryside at the South of England Showground.

More than 2,000 children from more than 50 schools in Brighton, Hove, Sussex and Surrey, visited the showground in Ardingly on July 13, to connect with the countryside and learn where their food comes from.

Pupils at the showground in Ardingly. Picture: Simon Dack

Pupils at the showground in Ardingly. Picture: Simon Dack

The South of England Agricultural Society is celebrating its 50th year of supporting farming, agriculture and the countryside in the South of England and has now welcomed 27,300 Year 5 and 6 children to the annual event, which started 12 years ago.

Each year, more than 100 volunteers from the society and more than 50 organisations and exhibitors give their time and support for free to help youngsters connect with the countryside.

Caroline Garland, deputy head and Ruby Murphy, teacher at Polegate School, said: “This is our first time at Connect with the Countryside and the fact that this is a free event is fantastic.

“Many of the children have never experienced anything like this before, coming from the outskirts of Eastbourne, and it’s a great opportunity for them to learn about the countryside.”

Pupils with farm animals at the event. Picture: Simon Dack

Pupils with farm animals at the event. Picture: Simon Dack

Maddie Bowers, teacher at Southway Junior School in Burgess Hill, said: “It’s a lovely day; it’s so nice that they can go around the zones and enjoy hands on activities.”

Reverend Mark Betson, chair of the society’s Education Committee, said: “This day is a fantastic opportunity for school children to become excited about what the countryside offers, from food to recreation and everything in between.

“This is a very special year for the society as it turns 50 and we were delighted to host the children, share our knowledge with them and to bury the time capsule, created by Bolnore Village Primary School and St Peter’s in Ardingly. We hope that in 50 years’ time, a similar group of children can dig it up and compare their lives with ours today.”

For more information visit www.seas.org.uk.

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