Schoolchildren enjoy all things farming, food and the countryside

 In 2023, GYS Press Releases, YAS Press Releases


Thousands of schoolchildren from across Yorkshire enjoyed a great variety of fun hands-on activities and displays all about farming, food and the great outdoors at the Great Yorkshire Showground this week.

Farming charity, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society welcomed 4,000 primary school pupils to the Showground in Harrogate on Tuesday 13th June and Wednesday 14th June for its popular annual Countryside Days. The event fires young imaginations about what happens in the countryside, from how food is produced by farming families, to learning about wildlife, the environment, and healthy lifestyles.

Highlights of a packed two days in glorious sunshine included The Sheep Show’s cast of dancing sheep, gun dog displays, sheep dog demonstrations and a farm animal arena where children were given ringside views of pigs, sheep, and cattle. For some little visitors, this was their first experience of seeing livestock up close.

Allister Nixon, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society said: “Education and championing British agriculture is very much at the heart of what we do as a charity all year-round and it was a pleasure to host so many curious young minds at the Great Yorkshire Showground this week.

“Countryside Days is such a brilliant opportunity for schoolchildren to enjoy learning about where our food comes from and how the countryside is carefully looked after by farming families and allied organisations. The smiles on children’s faces, particularly as they met the animals, was a real joy to see.”

As well as agricultural livestock, schoolchildren were introduced to reptiles, arachnids, ferrets, birds of prey, hatching chicks and alpacas. They got to try their hands at a variety of crafts and countryside pursuits, from dry stone walling and willow weaving, to making artwork with natural materials, whittling wood into wands and pond dipping.
Countryside Days also promotes healthy lifestyles and children had the chance to get creative during cookery workshops, to have a go at cycling, and to try a spot of forest bathing to promote mindfulness.

A combine harvester kindly exhibited by Russell’s and a display of vintage tractors told of how farming technology evolves, a grain story workshop explained how crops were planted, harvested, and processed to produce everyday food items such as bread and cereal, while a butter making masterclass gave children the chance to learn more about dairy.

Countryside Days is just one of the educational activities hosted by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The Society holds an Apple Day event at its Showground orchard in the autumn, Farm to Fork visits for schools at working farms, free training courses for teachers to take learning outdoors, a vegetable box growing competition for primary schools and dedicates the Discovery Zone at the Great Yorkshire Show to educational activities for families.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society will welcome back school groups to the Great Yorkshire Showground at next month’s 164th Great Yorkshire Show which takes place Tuesday 11th July to Friday 14th July. For more details about the Great Yorkshire Show, including discounted school group bookings, visit



● Registered charity, Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) supports and promotes the farming industry through health care, business, education and funding scientific research into rural affairs.
● YAS is supported by its family of businesses including Fodder, Yorkshire Event Centre, Pavilions of Harrogate and the Harrogate Caravan Park as well as events Great Yorkshire Show and Springtime Live.
● Businesses and events held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in 2019 contributed £73.7 million to the economy.

CONTACT: Ben Barnett, Charitable Activities Manager: Direct Line: 01423 546230

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