People are realising the benefits of outdoor space, with GPs prescribing fresh air to support patient wellbeing. However, modern life provides few opportunities to spend time outdoors.
At a public lecture, Chris Loynes, Professor of Human Nature Relations at the University of Cumbria, recently shared the university’s estimates that 80% of young people do not get to experience outdoor residential learning each year – particularly those from low-income, hyper-urban areas.
Outdoor education is an active learning experience in a natural environment. It develops resilience, perseverance, motivation and self-confidence, which can be harder in other educational settings.
The CLA Charitable Trust (CLACT) supports a number of organisations on a multi-year basis, enabling them to offer exceptional outdoor learning that focuses on farming, food and countryside experiences.
Farms for City Children
Founded by Clare and Michael Morpurgo, enables children from disadvantaged communities to experience working on farms in the countryside. It provides residential visits to three farms: Nethercott House in Devon, Lower Treginnis in Pembrokeshire and Wick Court in Gloucestershire.
The farm delivers residential programmes on four farms and day visits to its city farm in Waterloo, London, giving vulnerable young people practical, purposeful work with tangible outcomes. Young people have multiple opportunities to succeed and be recognised for it, building self-esteem and confidence.
Young people show major progress after visiting Jamie’s Farm – 75% of those at risk of exclusion before visiting were no longer at risk six months afterwards. The experiences can be life-changing: some students who visited in the past are now apprentices there, studying outdoor learning or animal care and welfare.
The Country Trust
It works with farmers and landowners to facilitate visits to working farms and estates - bringing alive the countryside for children least able to access it. It has welcomed thousands of disadvantaged children from all backgrounds and faiths to experience food, farming and the countryside. CLACT has agreed to continue multi-year funding for these charities for three more years, and offered the same funding to another organisation, Countryside Learning.
It connects children, families and teachers with the countryside. It enables visits to farms and estates, providing opportunities to connect children with the countryside in a fun and practical way. This has a range of impacts – one young person is now a gamekeeper on an estate he visited when he was younger.
CLACT is delighted to support these charities, whose work accords with our aims and objectives. CLA members’ donations have enabled CLACT to offer longer-term funding to these charities, allowing them to plan ahead with certainty.
Thank you for your support.