Nice Day at The Farm

Today proved to be a busy day for two of the staff (and several of the owls) from the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary when we were invited to attend the “Schools Farm Fair 2007” at the Suffolk Showground on the outskirts of Ipswich. 

Now in its seventh year, this worthwhile annual event is attended by over 3,500 primary school children and teachers from all over the region. The one-day educational show enables them to connect with how their food is produced and to give them an understanding of farming and its relationship with the management of the countryside.

As S.O.S. is a centre dedicated to the rehabilitation of the region’s wild raptors - which is a form of countryside management - the event gave local school children the opportunity to meet some of our residents and being the breeding time of year it is, we were able to take several baby owls to the event. This proved to be a big hit!

The event was incredibly well attended and from the moment the show opened our booth inside a giant marquee - which was filled with all manner of other farmyard animals and wildlife - was surrounded by herds of enthusiastic youngsters.

It was very nice to see some friendly faces from the many schools children we have perviously visited as part of out education program, including all our friends from Leiston Primary School who revisited our stand many times during the day! 

The concept of the School Farm Fair was created by the Suffolk Agricultural Association in 2001 and other agricultural associations have followed suit to develop similar events around the Country.

The day also included demonstrations such as 'The Farming Year' featuring an impressive range of farm machinery in action, a farrier at work, a sheep dog display and gun dog races.

In addition over 50 commercial and voluntary organisations provide interactive displays to demonstrate the great diversity of farming and countryside activities in the region. Pupils also had the chance to take a tour of the conservation area and ancient woodland trail at the show-ground, where they could see practical conservation in action for themselves.

For the benefit of others involved in the education process, here are a few of the comments from teachers who attended the event:

"This was a day full of rich experiences for the children particularly those involving contact with animals. There was always someone to ask and all adults were very friendly, knowledgeable and patient".

"The children had a really great day and the visit provided an excellent stimulus for creative follow-up work on our return to school"

"The event provided the opportunity for our children to see farming in action. The children are still keen to tell me things that they enjoyed that day as we continue our sciencegrowing project".

"A wonderful day! Long may such an initiative which relies on the hard work of so many contributors be available to our school aged children".

If you would like any more information about the event past, present & future, visit for details .