Countryside experience for Forest Gate pupils

Pupils from primary schools in Forest Gate visited a patch of England’s green and pleasant land as part of their curriculum.

Children from Elmhurst Primary School, on Park Road, and Earlham Primary School, in Earlham Grove, went to Countryside Live, a two day festival to introduce urban families to the wonders of the British countryside.

The annual showcase takes place at the WaterWorks Nature Reserve in Leyton at Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge, and aims to bring the classroom into the countryside under the management of the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority and in partnership with national charity Countryside Learning.

For some of the pupils, this was their first trip to the countryside and they took part in hands-on activities, demonstrations, and arena events including willow weaving, corndolly making, woodturning, and mini beast hunting.

Shaun Dawson, chief executive of the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority, said: “Countryside Live is a truly unique event which brings the countryside to school children who live their everyday lives in an urban setting.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for them to do things they normally wouldn’t, understand how life in the countryside really works and simply to get close enough to touch animals such as sheep and goats.

“An event like this where the countryside literally comes to town is one not to be missed.”

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The children also had the chance to get up close and personal with a number of animals not often seen in the city such as bats and otters as well as being able to watch the sheepdog and falconry shows.

Gary Richardson, chief executive of Countryside Learning, said: “With such a vast array of exhibitors, school children have the opportunity toget really hands-on and learn about where their food comes from, conservation, countryside management and the environment all in the heart of London.

“We recognise the importance and added value that learning outside the classroom can have on young people and this is why we work with the team at the Lea Valley Regional Park to put together a really stimulating yet educational event.”