Year: 2013

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

Our next event is 25th Jan – we would love your support!

We rely on volunteer support to deliver our Kids Country programme.

Some volunteers can only give time outside of working hours and some can only attend once or twice a year but we still appreciate it.

Some have relevant skills and knowledge to share with children, and others do not want core tasks or responsibilities but are happy to help in the background. All are equally valued and we are always keen to hear from anyone interested in becoming involved.

There really is something for everyone and we do aim to make volunteering fun. After our Smithfield 2012 event one teacher wrote: “Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the festival –the children are doing an assembly on it next week –they’ve been busy with it on and off all week and haven’t stopped telling the rest of the school all sorts of little facts”.

Expert Volunteers

Delivery of high quality education events is only possible by engaging help from within the farming community. Our education team is always looking for help with its Kids Country events and to extend its reach through to older children and students including those considering a career in the agri sector. Anyone able to help at a Kids Country event provide visiting  opportunities to their farms and businesses offer help at workshops and speaker meetings are invited to get in touch.


For an informal chat or a walk around the Showground please contact:


2013/14 Marshal Papworth MSc Students Day Trip and Dinner

2013/14 Marshal Papworth MSc Students Day Trip and Dinner


On Tuesday 10 December, the Marshal Papworth Trust held the first networking meeting for the new 2013/14 cohort of MSc students and committee members.

Earlier in the day a trip was organised to demonstrate two different food and farming journeys. The first being a ‘field to fork’ story demonstrated by Lincolnshire Field Products and the second a process of recycling waste vegetable products by Organic Recycling Ltd.

The day began with students being given an introduction during a walk round Woolhall Farms; topics included harvesting of sugar beet, Brussels and cabbages, vegetable packing and grading. Students walked through the brussels sprout crop where they were able to taste the raw vegetable and watch the machine harvesting the crop. The sprouts were transported to the pack-house where they were, washed, weighed, graded and cellophane sealed for supermarkets’ Christmas counters. A fantastic visual lesson reinforced by farming experts.

In the afternoon the group visited Andrew Riddington’s Farm in Crowland where they were given lunch and an informative presentation on his recycling business and future projects including solar panels and grass houses.
After lunch the students were given a talk and tour of Organic Recycling , a family-owned business that has grown into one of the UK’s leading composting facilities for biodegradable waste. Using innovative technology, Organic Recycling annually processes up to 60,000 tonnes of solid agricultural, horticultural and vegetable waste, paper, cardboard and green waste, converting it into compost, mulches and soil conditioners. The students also understood what happens to the vegetable waste products (seen at LFP) They were turned into compost for our gardens etc.

The day concluded at the Showground with a traditional British Christmas Dinner and a chance to discuss the day’s thoughts before departure home. The Dinner gave Marshal Papworth students a moment to savour the messages and take a new agricultural perspective home.

Local Schools Gain Perspective of a Professional Agricultural Event

Local Schools Gain Perspective of a Professional Agricultural Event

Press Release: 10/12/2013

Kids Country presented ‘A Child’s Perspective of a Professional Agricultural Event’ at the Showground in conjunction with the East of England Smithfield Festival, 5 & 6 December 2013.  Girls and boys from local schools were directed around special discovery zones dedicated to a particular livestock theme which were hosted by food, farming and livestock experts and enthusiasts from around the region.  Each zone introduced children to a specific activity that they could interact with.

Richard Savory from ‘The Sheep Show’, a sheep expert, and Judith Jacobs from ‘Moor Farm, Newborough’, a cattle expert, (“The Richard & Judy Show”) set the scene for the day by introducing topics about ‘by-products of cattle and sheep’, ‘breed names and characteristics’ and ‘native breeds from the UK’; the motivational messages stimulated  children throughout the day and culminated later in the zones with one to one teaching and direct feedback from practising farmers and agriculture specialists.

Schools were guided around three zones:  a Cattle Zone with FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) and Jane from RSPB as well as four cattle, a Sheep Zone that included four sheep and a wool spinning demonstration, and a Meat Zone with Tony, a butcher from Woburn Country Foods, an exhibit by Nigel Akehurst from Red Tractor that emphasised the Trust the Tractor campaign and encouraged children to spot British food in supermarkets together with a demonstration where children were able to lend a hand literally in making burgers using beef from Moor Farm (a Red Tractor Assured beef and lamb farm).  Children witnessed meat turned into mince and were able to take their burgers home at the end of the day.

The highlight for many of the children was a tour of the main festival area which was conducted by Bill Samson and members of the RASC (Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth); children saw cattle and sheep paraded around the ring and witnessed prize judging.  A very kind West Wales farmer gave a lucky few children a behind-the-scenes tour of the sheep pens where stock were being sheered and groomed awaiting judging.  Children filled out a livestock spotting worksheet and received first hand assistance and advice from national farmers who helped them identify the different breeds of sheep and cattle.

Luke, 8, Parnwell Primary School, said, ‘my favourite bit about today was when he (a farmer) scanned the tag on the sheep so he automatically knows where the sheep comes from… I’ve learnt that animals have their own passports… It’s been a good trip’.

Millie, Woodston Primary School, learnt that ‘Cows have 4 stomachs and sheep can have twins or triplets’.

Colin, Elliott and Matthew from Bythams Primary School enjoyed seeing the sheep and learning how jumpers are made from wool.  When prompted if they had learnt something new they said that ‘If the sheep eat these worm/maggot things they will get a very upset tummy and they need to have a spray medicine on their back and mouth to disinfect the bug.’  ‘I’ve learnt that sheep’s parts can be used to create fireworks and chess pieces.’

Freya, 7, from Coates Primary School said her favourite part was ‘looking at the lady’s spinning wheel because I’ve always wanted to see a spinning wheel’.

All children interviewed said they would like to visit another Kids Country event in the near future with one reply being a very enthusiastic ‘Yes, yes, yes!’.

A teacher from Heltwate School considered the most successful aspect was the ‘knowledgeable staff’ and ‘amazing variety of tasks to do and participate in’.  Children with special educational needs ‘learned masses from the experts’.

The day was concluded by Richard and Judith who reinforced children’s knowledge with reminders, displays and questions from each zone.  Children who answered correctly were given prizes, kindly donated by the event’s exhibitors.

Kids Country event organiser Sandra Lauridsen said: ‘It is very pleasing to see, and hear, the children’s enjoyment and to realise just how much they were learning during their stay with us.  The Society could not deliver this programme without volunteer and exhibitor support and we are all grateful for the time and effort they put into Kids Country.’

Kids Country would like to give special thanks to the 20+ volunteers who gave their time over two days to help deliver the high quality educational programme.  Kids Country relies on volunteer support.  Some volunteers can only give time outside of working hours and some can only attend once or twice a year but it is still appreciated.

The Society is always happy to discuss any aspect of sponsorship. The Society knows it has to make business sense for our sponsors and will work hard to achieve that for them.  Please visit our website or contact Jeremy Staples for sponsorship opportunities.

The biggest Kids Country event ‘Food and Farming Festival’, which successfully attracted 4000 children this year, is set to return 11 July 2014.

Editors notes:

Press release issued by the East of England Agricultural Society for more press information & additional photographs contact Matt Jones (01733 363 543) or email

For more information about Kids Country contact Sandra Lauridsen, East of England Agricultural Society (01733 234 514) or email


Excitement Builds For This Year’s East of England Smithfield Festival

Excitement Builds For This Year’s East of England Smithfield Festival

Press release: 25 November 2013

Final preparations are in hand for this year’s leading primestock event , the East of England Smithfield Festival at Peterborough on Thursday 5th & Friday 6th December.

This premier livestock show has again attracted a bumper entry of livestock from across the country, and includes what is undoubtedly one of the largest Multibreed Pedigree calf shows at any winter primestock event this year.

There will be more trade stands than ever offering visitors the chance to investigate options for improving genetics, feeding and health in their livestock enterprises. Several agricultural machinery dealers have taken stands to give livestock producers the opportunity to catch up on the latest mechanisation developments at a dedicated livestock event.

New to the 2013 line up is a brand new seminar programme on the first day of the show starting with Allan Wilkinson from HSBC followed by Peter Aitkin from WestPoint Veterinary Group. Other new features are demonstrations from Jim Barber on Ultrasound Scanning to help livestock farmers understand EBVs better including muscle depth/area and fat depth.

Show Chairman Charles Horrell said the interest in this year’s show has been outstanding, with a combination of the UK’s finest livestock as well as excellent trade stands, seminars and demonstrations it’s a day not to be missed.

The show offers FREE entry and FREE car parking plus a range of catering facilities for all.

Editors notes:
Press release issued by East of England Agricultural Society for more press information contact Kerry Buttriss for more information contact Kerry Buttriss, East of England Agricultural Society (01733 234 451) or email

Food for thought in Peterborough

Food for thought in Peterborough


On Wednesday 20th November the WI Great Food Debate comes to Peterborough.

The event features a panel of experts including Quentin Clark, Waitrose’s head of sustainability and ethical sourcing; Ruth Bond former chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) who launched the great food debate campaign in 2012; and BBC Farmer of the Year Guy Watson, founder of Riverford organic farms.

The panel and the audience will examine some of the big global and local questions. What’s driving food prices? How can food waste be reduced? What can be done to encourage healthier and more sustainable diets? How do we balance the need for more food with energy security?

The event also includes a marketplace where local produce will be on sale, an exhibition of food, and a locally sourced meal. The meal has been designed to provide tasters showcasing the best of local food and will comprise; steak and chips, sausage and mash, wild mushroom risotto, smoked mackerel and curried potato salad, maple roasted butternut squash, and fruit crumble.

The WI Great Food Debate is being organised by a team from the Huntingdon and Peterborough WI in partnership with the East of England Agricultural Society. The event is open to all local people and you don’t need to be a WI member to attend.

Former chair of the NFWI, Ruth Bond, launched the Great Food Debate campaign in 2012 to encourage a discussion around the key issue of food security, and how the significant food demands of the future can be met.

“Our food system is under enormous pressure, with an increasing global population competing for limited land, energy and water resources” explains Ruth. “Closer to home, the number of people relying on food banks has doubled.” She continues, “This debate will give people the chance to examine the roles and responsibilities of individuals, communities, organisations and government in addressing the challenges ahead. We want to build a public conversation about these issues. Food security is a major global concern and it’s important that the consumer isn’t left behind.”

When: Wednesday 20th November. Marketplace opens from 4.30pm with the debate at 6pm.

Where: Peterborough Arena, Cambridge and Peterborough suites. Free parking is provided.

How much: Tickets include the evening meal and cost £15 a person.

Book your place: Tickets can be bought by emailing or calling 01733 363502.

The Crown Estate supports Kids Country Education Programme

The Crown Estate supports Kids Country Education Programme



The Crown Estate has pledged £500 to the East of England Agricultural Society’s Kids Country Education Programme.   The money will allow over 200 pupils from schools neighbouring The Crown Estate’s Holmewood Estate near Peterborough to travel to the East of England Smithfield Festival on December 5th and 6th 2013 to learn about food, farming and the countryside.

At the festival schools will come together to participate in educational activities, learn about the origins of the food we eat and ultimately teach children about healthy eating.  Pupils will have the opportunity to get up close with sheep and cattle, learn about cuts of meat, the by-products that come from animals and the strict guidelines for famers which assure high standards of food production.

Robin Clarke, The Crown Estate’s Rural and Coastal Portfolio Manager in the East of England, said:

‘As one of the largest rural landowners in the UK, farming is at the core of our business. We see the important contribution our tenant farmers make to the nation on a daily basis and believe that the East of England Agricultural Society’s Kids Country Education Programme provides a fantastic opportunity for the next generation to learn about the work that goes into food production.’

Jeremy Staples, East of England Agricultural Society Chief Executive, said:

‘I would like to thank The Crown Estate for supporting the Kids Country Education Programme. Everyone involved is truly passionate about ensuring children understand the countryside, farming and food. To have The Crown Estate support our project is a fantastic boost and the financial contribution will help make this wonderful opportunity more affordable to young learners.’

A fruitful day for children at the Autumn Show

A fruitful day for children at the Autumn Show

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The Kids Country area was teeming with parents and children who took their interesting ideas and armed themselves with cocktail sticks to craft them into fruit and vegetable masterpieces.

The Veg Art Competition was full of wonderful entries and most charming of all were the bugs, birds of prey and a tortoise which subsequently won 1st 2nd and 3rd prizes judged by Matthew from Peterborough Environment City Trust.

Boys and girls had the opportunity to ask our volunteers about the different types of fruit and vegetables adding a variety of new words to their vocabulary and with any luck exciting healthy foods to their palate.

Fruit and Vegetables included: parsnips, snap peas, lemons, beetroot any many more provided by Ben Harris at Lincolnshire Food Products.

We have strong relationships with schools and education organisations. We are constantly looking at how best to deliver collaborative outcomes with other organisations concerned, like us, with the promotion and support of agriculture and rural life.

Please get in touch with for more information about how your organisation could benefit this initiative there are many different ways you can sponsor our events which we aim to keep at zero-cost to the child or school.


Prizes were kindly provided by: G’s, Produce World & Dobbies

First Prize – Shaylee (Bugs Life)

Second Prize – Nicola (Owl)

Third Prize – Lucy (Tortoise)

Exhibitors also involved in the area on the day included:




The Green backyard


COMMUNITY – An A-Maze-N Willow Maze Design Competition

COMMUNITY – An A-Maze-N Willow Maze Design Competition


Closing date EXTENDED: 1st December 2013

Download Poster

Download Entry Form

As part of our fantastic on-going Kids Country initiative we are very excited to announce that our latest project will continue to further help children to fully enjoy the hands-on touchy feely outdoor experience.  By teaming up with a wonderful local charity, Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), we are giving local children the opportunity to inspire a design for a new willow maze to be constructed at the Showground, an attractive feature for the community of Peterborough to enjoy.

The Willow Maze will be a fascinating place to explore and over time will create natural habitats together with creatures and plants proving endless sources of fun.   Part of PECT’s Forest for Peterborough an ambitious plan to plant over 180,000 trees and has already planted a staggering 49,502 trees (as of 11/10/13).

The Willow Maze design will be a collaboration of ideas – we have provided an image for inspiration for your maze and it could take any shape or form – let your child’s imagination run wild!

Please a-maze us with your entry!  Parents/guardians/supervisors and children are being invited to help (construct the maze/attend a planting day) alongside specialist foresters.

We are encouraging schools, extracurricular learning organisations and families to get involved so send us your stunning doodles and sketches using the template provided.

Designs will be judged by a panel of both Kids Country and PECT representatives.


Kids Country launched its flagship event, Food and Farming Day, in July 2013 Nearly 100 volunteers and hundreds of people on the stands came together to ensure the children had a day to remember.  A comment received from a school was:  ‘We had an amazing time and the children loved it… Everything was so well thought through and staff were extremely efficient.’  Our volunteers are so important to us, we are very thankful and we would not be able to roll out this educational programme without you!


Please check back here soon about the maze construction/planting days and to register your interest please contact

New Secretary of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society

New Secretary of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society

The Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society and the East of England Agricultural Society are delighted to announce that Jeremy Staples the Chief Executive Officer of the East of England Agricultural Society has been appointed Secretary of the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society.

Jeremy Staples replaces David Ralley-Davies who has relocated to manage the Shire Horse Society.

Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland and the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society would like to thank David for all his hard work in the past. Jeremy takes up his position immediately.

Bangers & Mash Ball

Bangers & Mash Ball

 15 March 2014 – Book Your Tickets Now!


The East of England Bangers and Mash Ball is a night not to be missed – a fabulous evening of great food, outstanding entertainment and plenty of dancing!
This year’s menu has been devised in consultation with award-winning Chef Rachel Green; entertainment from Vision – a highly talented six piece party band; and a few other surprises thrown in for good measure, it’s the hottest ticket in town!
Tickets are £50 each or tables of 10 £450 with dinner, wine, beer and soft drinks included.
This year’s ball will raise money for two very deserving projects: Little Miracles – which provides specialist support for 3000 local children as seen on BBC’s ‘DIY SOS: Children in Need special’; and Marshal Papworth Trust – which educates agricultural and horticultural students from developing countries in sustainable farming practices; .

To book your tickets, a table or for more information please contact, 01733 363502 or by emailing



Please click here to save the date in your diary!  (right click, save as on PC)

Upcoming Events

all-day Kids Country- Food & Farming Day @ East of England Showground
Kids Country- Food & Farming Day @ East of England Showground
Jun 29 all-day
Kids Country- Food & Farming Day @ East of England Showground
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all-day Just Dogs Live @ East of England Showground
Just Dogs Live @ East of England Showground
Jul 6 – Jul 8 all-day
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