Charity of the Year - Countryside Learning

Sir Nicholas Soames, the 2021 President of the Society has selected Countryside Learning as our charity of the year.

Connecting the next generation with the countryside, Countryside Learning is a charity that enables school children, teachers and parents to visit and study skilled people in their countryside-based workplace. Its main goal is to educate, inform and inspire them so that they can enjoy and appreciate the countryside while having a greater understanding of the wide range of issues surrounding it.

As the South of England Agricultural Society has educational objectives at the core of our own charitable remit, we have worked with Countryside Learning to run joint events in the past. 2020 was an incredibly difficult year in education, with the first lockdowns from the pandemic being implemented and national school closures, meaning many of these events could not take place. With the hope of a return to running events in 2021, Sir Nicholas appointed Countryside Learning as the charity of the year so we can work hand in hand and both organisations can fulfil their objectives of teaching as many children and families as possible about the land.

Planned joint initiatives include the Society assisting with school trips to the Balcombe Estate in Mid Sussex and The Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate in Surrey, as well as involvement for Countryside Learning in the Society’s Connect with the Countryside educational event. We will also support Countryside Learning by raising awareness through our network of members and supporters, and providing the charity with a platform to fundraise at our various events held throughout the year, including the ever-popular South of England Show which is set to take place on 11th ,12th, and 13th June 2021.

Gary Richardson, Chief Executive of Countryside Learning, said: “We are delighted that Sir Nicholas has decided to name Countryside Learning as his choice for the President’s Charity of the Year.

“Research shows that learning in the outdoors can bring massive benefits to a child’s confidence, understanding and engagement, together with benefits to their mental and physical wellbeing, which in the current situation is more important than ever.  A small charity with a big job to do, we are proud to say that 99p in every pound donated to us goes directly on our charitable work with children.  We look forward with excitement and huge thanks to working with the Society this year.”

Sir Nicholas added: “Countryside Learning was an immediate choice for me – the Society already has a captive audience so it is a perfect fit. I have had a long association with this wonderful charity and I am very excited by the opportunities that this partnership will bring”

For information about Countryside Learning visit