Clinton Devon Estates were pleased to be hosting the Devon Kingfisher Award on their home farm, near Budleigh Salterton and for their Countryside Learning Officer, Kate Ponting to co-ordinate the project for the county.

The theme for 2019 was "Muck, Milk and Marvellous Minibeasts" and schools from across East Devon were invited to take part.


 

Field Days

Nearly 300 pupils between 8-10 years old attended the field days in May to take part in three workshops: Soil Sifters, Milk Makers, Creature Seekers.

The children looked at the importance of soil to farmers, whatever crops they are growing, and about how cows turn fields of grass into milk for us to drink. Grass is a vital crop for dairy farmers, and the pupils learned about a diary cows’ lifecycle and what cows need to produce litres of milk every day. Field margins and hedges are wildlife corridors connecting different habitat, whilst sustaining lots of flora and fauna essential for a balanced ecosystem we will help the children investigate what might live here especially pollinators such as native bees and moths.

  • Soil Sifters: Soil is important for optimum plant growth and we looked at the composition of different soil types and the importance of air, water and organic matter. Worms play their part too, and we all wanted to hold one!

  • Milk Makers: Cows, like humans and all other mammals, make milk as food for their young. Grass is the best food for this grazing animal, domesticated by man to increase milk production. We took a farm walk to investigate how grass becomes milk and get up close and personal to learn what cows need to keep them happy, healthy and producing lots of the white stuff!

  • Creature Seekers: We considered the other animals that call the farm home; some of them teeny tiny! Who might predate these animals and what might they need for shelter and food. We will consider why farmers need pollinating insects and why none of us can really live without them.

 

Picnic and Award Ceremony

After their visit, the classes had just over a month to produce follow-up work on any aspect of the themes. They choose to investigate one or all three themes in more detail and to demonstrate what they have learned by creating eye-catching posters, books, models, games, songs, food tastings…this year we had a radio station for cows and a worm made from a hoover nozzle!! The judges took time to talk to the pupils and every child was able to show the judges what they got out of the Kingfisher experience.

The 2019 East Devon KAS winners were St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Exmouth and the Runners-up, Feniton Primary School (pictured below in green).

    

 

The KAS is entirely reliant on sponsorship money, charitable donations, and volunteers. If you would like to make a donation or offer your time to help please contact the FWAG SouthWest office on: 01823 660684 or email [email protected]   


          East Devon KAS is kindly supported and sponsored by Clinton Devon Estates.

www.clintondevon.com