Discover Our Free Educational Farm & Conservation Trips

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 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. 

We bring to life the theory being taught in the classroom, allowing children the opportunity to see in person the countryside we farm, the latest methods and technology we use to help us do this whilst in a fun, yet safe environment. We believe that by sharing our passion for farming and conservation with the local community, we can do something positive for nature, and for its future. 

Take a look at two of our ongoing projects below, and find out how we bring our community together both in the classroom and in the great outdoors. You can also visit our Facebook page for the latest updates here.

If you'd like to get your school involved, or would like to know more, please contact hazel@ramsbury.com or call us on 01672 541407.
 

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 eco-system and needs protecting. 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 out the natural curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm in young minds, we set up the Hazel Dormouse Project.

We 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.

Once built in autumn, the boxes were left outside to weather over winter, and then in 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 had been eaten by small mammals like the dormouse, or if very lucky one that had unquestionably been eaten by a dormouse. The 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.

Hazel Dormouse Project 2019

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. First we brought the 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 had returned. 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. 

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 outdoors is a reward in itself for us here at Ramsbury.
 
Duke of Burgandy Butterfly Projec

Testimonials

“Both the dormouse and butterfly conservation projects have been amazing! Outdoor, environmental learning at its best! The projects have been planned and delivered by wonderfully passionate people; the impact they’ve had on the children’s understanding of conservation has been profound. In this day and age the importance of environmental education cannot be underestimated and there is no better way to learn than through projects such as these. The guys at Ramsbury estate are just fantastic and I cannot recommend them highly enough!  Conservation is now firmly at the heart of our school thanks to these projects and with children as passionate about caring for the environment as our children now are, it gives me renewed hope for the future of our planet!”

Ben Jarvis, Year 6 Teacher - St Michael’s C of E Primary School

 
"The activities you arranged were brilliant, the interaction with the students great and just totally enjoyable.  They had experiences that they never expected, their minds have been opened – and as a teacher it was brilliant to see them so excited."

Sarah Crisford, Head of Food & Nutrition - Furze Platt Senior School
"Students gained ‘real’ experience.  They used all their business acumen to conduct market research, gain costings and produce project plans including financial forecasting and break-even analysis.  The pitch part of the proposal was the end result of months of detailed work.”

Gillian Keir, Business Lecturer HND Business - New College Swindon

Moz the Dog's Blog - Tails from the Farm

I would like to introduce myself, I am the Vermin Control Manager for The Ramsbury Estate and have been employed on a part time basis for the past 11 years. My role has been to observe and control, where necessary (or sometimes unnecessary) any vermin that may or may not have a detrimental effect on our business. I have also recently been involved in the new Education project as it was deemed that my skills could easily be applied to help with groups of school children, sometimes over 30 in numbers!
 
The last few months have been a little testing with my colleague Grumpy, the Farms Manager. He’s been constantly going on about the weather, looking at weather forecasts, talking to other farmers about the weather and moaning every time he opens the door in the morning. I do hope for a dryer 2020 so I don’t have to hear this all the time again this year!

My favourite thing is mooching about the woods, as I did this weekend which was fantastic. My nose tells me Spring is going to be early folks as I’ve sniffed out the snowdrops already blooming, the primrose is not far behind and the bluebells are emerging.I look forward to greeting you and all of our visitors who come to the estate (whether they like it or not!). That’s all for now, there’s work to do! Keep updated with where my 'Tails from the Farm' by clicking below!
 
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