Connecting children with food, farming and the countrysideA unique outdoor learning experience for schools and groups at the Hirsel, ColdstreamScottish Land and Estates ‘Helping it Happen’ Education Award winner
Field to Fork at the Hirsel, Coldstream draws on the resources of the estate to offer 'Food and Farming' and 'In the Wild' day visits for schools and groups FREE of charge (because we believe our message is so important). Our aim is to nuture an understanding and appreciation of food, farming and the countryside while fostering an enjoyment of being outdoors.
A visit with a 'Food and Farming' focus highlights the crucial role of our farming industry in producing our food, exploring in a hands-on way the crops grown, how they are produced and how they become the food we eat. The cooking activity further encourages the making of informed choices around food and its impact on health, the environment and on producers, as well as teaching valuable food preparation and cooking life skills.
Meanwhile an 'In the Wild' day may involve both sessions being outdoors, engaging with the natural environment to explore, discover and learn about an aspect of it and the importance of caring for it.
A typical visit involves:
We can accommodate a maximum of 40 children per visit and have disabled facilities.
Through the seasons we will be watching our crops grow, getting lost in the maize, seeing new life burst forth and hunting for mini-beasts and seeds in the woods of the estate. Share these experiences with your children with us!
We were thrilled to be part of the amazing Christmas Fair at the Hirsel on Saturday with full uptake of our children's workshops making Christmas Wreaths and Twig Decorations from foraged natural materials. If you missed it, videos showing how can be found below!
Edenside P1 and P1/2 visited recently to learn about food and farming, the crops grown and the foods they make as well as making their own healthy pizzas. So good to be able to do what we are passionate about again! Thank you Edenside!
Recently, we helped all 3 classes at Scremerston First School prepare (and enjoy eating!) some healthy snacks on a Bonfire Night theme - Fruit Rockets, Carrot Hummus Bonfires and Pizza Puff Pinwheels! This, our second termly visit, aims to help encourage healthier snacking and support the growing of food in the school garden.
It was so good to be back welcoming classes to Field to Fork over the last 2 weeks. Thank you Spittal First School for bringing the whole school over 6 days. We had such fun!
Enter into the excitment and anticipation of the Harvest with our recently launched video on the cereal harvest at the Hirsel. Close up shots and drone footage show what's involved in bringing home the wheat, barley and oats which will become our food.
Harvest has begun once again - a busy and important time on the Hirsel farms. Check out the 'Farming' topic in Activities and Resources for support around where our food comes from and how it is produced.
With the start of the new session, we are very much hoping we can welcome you back! In preparation the classroom has had a spruce up and new activities and resources have been created including the Activities and Resources section, with videos, here on our website.
Check out our latest videos within 'Healthy Cooking, Healthy Eating' of the Activities and Resources section below which show how to make 3 quick, straightforward and nutrious recipes using local or UK grown produce of this winter season.
Learn more about what happens in nature in this glorious autumn season with all its treasures and be creative too:
'Make a Story Stick' : https://youtu.be/Bam0wUUkSuA
'Autumn Treasures' : https://youtu.be/dW3viidUlx4
'How trees disperse their seeds' : https://youtu.be/SIqAIL1uM3M
Autumn is such an amazing time of year and wherever you are there are signs to spot. Take a look at our 'Autumn at the Hirsel' video then see what you can spot in your local area
While we are sadly not able to welcome classes to the Hirsel, it's great to see youngsters engaging with our weekly challenges at home. The 'Things to do with Sticks' theme prompted some fantastic creations with stick towers, names written in sticks, some mathsy things, tied picture frames and cheesy sticks to eat. Well done to all, its great to see your imaginative ideas. More photos can be seen in the gallery
As with everyone else our summer term plans have gone by the board - just when bookings were coming in well, Coronavirus put a spanner in the works! However all is not lost as we have plenty ideas for activities which can be done at home, outdoors, in the garden or out on daily walks to explore the world around us. Each week we are emailing out around 5 themed activities suitable for any age and almost anywhere - a recipe is often included. To receive these activities contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope they are useful and enjoyable, helping youngsters to connect to our amazing natural world and appreciate what is on their doorstep.
This autumn we hosted two Estate Days for High School year groups in conjunction with RHET. On the first we welcomed around 60 S2 pupils from Jedburgh Grammar School while the following day 90 S3 pupils from the Berwickshire High School took part. The youngsters explored various aspects of estate life through a forestry workshop provided by Fountain Forestry, a river life session by The Tweed Foundation, farming provided by Alistair Hodge and Lesley Mason of RHET, the Douglas Fold of Highland Cattle by Allan Telford, gamekeeping by Craig Birkett the gamekeeper, in which he showed them how to prepare pheasant for the table, and ourselves at Field to Fork baking bread and cooking and tasting the pheasant gougons! The pupils had a fantastic day, huge thanks to our providers, and took home with them a tree sapling kindly donated by Cheviot Trees.
We are thrilled (as you can see!) to have been announced winners of the Scottish Land and Estates 2018 'Helping it Happen' education award at a ceremony held at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh recently. We have always been very proud of what we offer at Field to Fork but it is fantastic to have the huge commitment of the Estate, who fund this project, acknowledged at a National level. We are grateful to schools for their support and hope we can continue to develop what we do in order to connect more children to what goes on in the countryside and where their food comes from.
Click on the topics to download teaching plans, worksheets and videos.
Our 'Food and Farming' visits are based around the crops grown on the 5 farms of the Hirsel estate and the foods they produce. This supports curriculum topics such as 'Where our food comes from', 'Food from Scotland', 'Food journeys', 'Food and the environment' as well as for example 'Healthy eating', 'Grow your own', 'Plant Lifecycles', 'Sustainable Living', 'Food and Farming in World War 1/2' or other periods in history.
On the otherhand an 'In the Wild' day might focus on 'Woodland habitats', 'Food chains', 'Lifecycles', 'Mini-beasts', 'Using our senses outdoors', 'Mindfulness in nature', 'Wild Art', 'Outdoor games' or 'Mapping at the Hirsel'.
We are happy to work with your suggestions, tailoring visits to meet your curriculum and children's needs, and can contribute to Building Resilience, Developing the Young Workforce, School Health Week, Fairtrade Fortnight, Eco Schools and John Muir Awards.
During the winter months when an outdoor visit can be difficult, we are happy to offer In-school Workshops within a 25 mile radius. These usually involve a powerpoint presentation and a practical cooking or other activities.
Take your visit further and click on the topics to find further resources and activities to do in your own setting.
Ideas for natural Christmas crafts that are kind to the environment
Explore what is happening in the wild during winter and how trees, birds and animals survive.
Some wildlife games that can be used as icebreakers or parts of lessons
Click here to see a selection of images of what we get up to.