Sharing our knowledge
Discover our free educational farm & conservation trips. Not only do we want to make an impact on the environment around us, we want to raise awareness and educate younger minds on why we do, what we do.
Inspiring and educating
The environment we are surrounded by is hugely important to us. It provides us with a wealth of farming opportunities, and for generations we have worked with the land to ensure that each next generation can continue to benefit from it, as we do now. Inspiring these future generations to understand, nurture and be excited by the landscape is something we are passionate about.
In 2017, we created Ramsbury Farming and Countryside Education, offering schools, colleges and educational groups the opportunity to visit our farms for free. Our farming and education aim is simple, working with educational professionals to create a tailored visit around learning objectives we can together inspire a greater interest in where our food comes from, what lives in the countryside and how farming links to and shapes the environment.
Hazel Dormouse Project 2019
Endangered species come in all shapes and sizes, one of which is the hazel dormouse and is key to the local system and needs protecting.
Developing Young Minds
In today’s environment, it faces significant challenges, one being its habitat is disappearing and statistics show that numbers are in rapid decline. Recognising that we can help these small mammals, and in the process bring our the natural curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm in young minds, we set up the Hazel Dormouse Project.
Our farming and education began by identifying areas of ancient woodland within our estate that would be suitable for the project, before our carpenter set to work creating wooden dormouse house kits that could be built by students together in groups at school. Once built, they would hopefully provide additional shelter away from predators and the temperamental British weather.
Of this land
Once built in autumn, the boxes were left outside to weather over winter, and then in the spring the school groups brought their boxes with them on a visit to our farm and estate. Within the tranquil woods in Ramsbury, they first took part in a hazelnut hunt to try and identify through the teeth marks left behind what had eaten it. Hoping to find that they have been eaten by small mammals like the dormouse, or if very lucky one that had unquestionably been eaten by a dormouse.
The farming and education session was spent identifying the types of trees and other food sources available in that area to them and assessing whether it was a suitable habitat. Then, together they put up their boxes in a fixed place, where we electronically recorded the site for future monitoring. The main aim of this is to get children outside, to learn and most importantly, to do something positive for nature.
Duke of Burgundy Butterfly Project 2018
Critically endangered, we sought to bring these beautiful insects back to our corner of Wiltshire, with the help of 7 schools and 240 children our very first conservation and education project was born.
Encouraging the wildlife
First we brought the farming and education project to the classroom, giving the children a taste of the Duke of Burgundy’s habitat and looked to inspire them as to how we can all help them return to the local environment.
We set aside a dedicated area for each school on our estate and over a few weeks, each school visited and planted the butterfly’s preferred food: cowslips. An abundance of this food we hoped would draw back the butterfly to make these areas of natural beauty their home once again. We then arranged a return visit, where to our delight the project had worked and the butterflies have returned.
Continuing to develop
Into the future
Thanks to this success, this is now a 10 year project where we will continue to grow butterfly corridors to further extend the habitat and hopefully grow the population even more so, adding to our diverse farming and education program.
This connection with nature is hugely important for children, and often something that is forgotten in modern day to day life, and to see the children enjoying being in the fresh air, and learning about the outdoors is a reward in itself for us here at Ramsbury.
Would you like to get your school involved? With our farming and education services we cater for both primary, secondary and college students and have a number of fun and challenging projects that your students will love.
The projects are free of charge, we only require enthusiasm and a hands-on attitude!