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Northants estate’s new rural education programme teaching kids importance of farming boosted by laptop donations

A Northamptonshire estate’s new education programme teaching youngsters the importance of sustainable farming has been boosted with a donation of 20 laptops from the leading property consultancy which manages the estate.

Fisher German donated the laptops to Holdenby House to bolster its newly launched Rural Education Programme, which takes primary school children on a tour of the grounds and farms and shows them how farms produce our vital food and help wildlife thrive at the same time.

Youngsters taking part in the Rural Education Programme at Holdenby House’s Education Centre experience all sorts of different outdoor activities, including seeing how crops grow, pond-dipping, birdwatching, and worm-hunting.

The programme aims to educate children on how nature and farming can coexist, and how the farming industry allows for the conservation and protection of important habitats for wildlife.

Jackie Evans, Head of Education at Holdenby House, said the donation would boost bookings on the programme.

She said: “This donation is absolutely vital to the viability of our Rural Education Programme. Without it, if the weather is bad when a school decides to visit, or if a child cannot walk around the route, the laptops enable us to bring the farm to them.

“Many schools would be reluctant to book if they knew bad weather would scupper the chances of an educational trip for their pupils, so the laptops have given us a bit of an insurance policy.

“We have taken our first bookings already, and we’re looking forward to welcoming many more schools to Holdenby in the future.”

Holdenby House dates back to the 16th century and was once the palace of King James I as well as the largest private house in England. It has been owned by the Lowther family since 1709.

The estate wanted to start a new educational programme after the great success of its award-winning Heritage Education Programme, which has seen more than 250,000 children learn all about various chapters of British history through interactive experiences. And with eight Sandford Awards, it is the most awarded education programme of its type in the country.

Matthew Trembath, Senior Surveyor at Fisher German, added: “We have been managing the Holdenby Estate for many years now, and have seen how popular its heritage education is with schools from all over the country.

“When we heard about its new rural education programme, we thought it was another brilliant way for the estate to capitalise on its beautiful countryside setting and attract schools from urban areas to experience a proper taste of country life.

“Although a brilliant idea, we advised schools may not be as keen if there was no alternative to the outdoor activities in case of bad weather.

“We offered to donate 20 laptops to ensure Holdenby had the ability to give children a great educational experience even if the heavens open.

“Advice like this is all part of the service we provide to estates, and we are delighted bookings are starting to come in for the new programme.”

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CAPTION – Jackie Evans, Head of Education at Holdenby House (left) and Matthew Trembath, Senior Surveyor at Fisher German, with one of the donated laptops

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