The Kingfisher Award Scheme (KAS) provides children with the opportunity to go onto farms to explore the natural world

“Touch, feel and see the relationship between food, farming and wildlife.”


First launched in Devon by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and friends in 1992, KAS has since grown into a regional educational initiative of the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest, working with over 900 children a year across four counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire). In 2023 the scheme is starting up in two more counties, Dorset and Gloucestershire, to provide more children with access to this wonderful opportunity.

Find out more information on the County pages by clicking the banners below

The scheme promotes awareness of the countryside, farming and conservation to school children. The scheme is broken into three main parts:


The Field Visit

The visit to a farm or wildlife site allows the children to connect with their environment, landscape and the wildlife habitats around them. The activities aim to give an understanding of how farming and wildlife are linked.

Emphasis is placed on the food chain, ecosystems and life cycles within the natural environment.

The children learn by discovering for themselves, they are encouraged to use their senses, to ask questions and to have fun!

Learning is through hands on experiences, such as examining a fleece, pond dipping or owl pellet analysis.



The Project

Back in the classroom the children do further research on the themes of the field day and prepare a display.

This is a team effort that allows the children to develop ideas and explore their natural environment at school and at home.

The focus of the display is led by the children so they can follow the topics which have sparked their interest, giving room for them to follow their own ideas.



The Presentation Celebration

The participating schools are then invited back to the farm or suitable venue for a picnic where they present their displays to compete for the KAS Trophy.

The judges are a panel drawn from farming and wildlife backgrounds with whom the children discuss their work.

The afternoon includes various activities and entertainment.

The Kingfisher Award trophy is presented to the winning school.



Get Involved

The Kingfisher Award Scheme is reliant on private sponsors and charitable trusts for its funding. Volunteers are needed to help run farm visit days. So please do contact us should be able to offer some support or time.

KAS operates in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Wiltshire Dorset and Gloscestershire, it is run by a management committee. Each county has a coordinator who plans field days, liaises with schools, farmers and volunteers as well as organising the picnic and award presentation.

KAS is completely free of charge to the schools, even transport to the farms is arranged!

If you would like to help in any way please enquire via [email protected] or follow the linked banners above to county coordinators.

In 2018 we celebrated 25 years of the Kingfisher Awards, and what a year we had! As well as Kingfisher schemes taking place in Somerset, Cornwall and Devon. READ MORE HERE...

In 2021 the Kingfisher Award Scheme took place online. To find out who won and see the winning presentations, click here...


The Kingfisher Award is kindly supported by:






and Bill Tucker, The Henry Hoare Charitable Trust, Samuel William Farmer Trust and other private individual donations.