Review of Countryside Live at The Ledston Estate

Let’s start with some happy faces

having fun

arena fun

happy faces

excited face

enjoying the arena programme

Thanks to the continued support of the Wheler Foundation, Countryside Live North was held for the 13th time on The Ledston Estate near Castleford. 3000 Yorkshire children and their teachers, from 50 schools enjoyed learning about the countryside.


chick eggucation

chicks with eggucation

          Getting up close to chicks and watching them hatch
with Eggucation

milking the cow

milking daisy

Milking Daisy the cow

willow fish

willow fish
Willow Fish with Yorkshire Hurdles


 A few comments from teachers

“Fabulous day! Well organised and set out. The workshops we attended were informative and thoroughly enjoyed by the children.”

“The Sheep Show was brilliant as usual.”

“the exhibitors were all very knowledgeable and interacted well with the children which is not always the case on a school trip.”

“Was great, you’ve thought of everything”

“Our whole school attended Countryside Live again and it was another successful visit.  Our children and staff really enjoyed the day.  Teachers who had not attended before were impressed with the range of activities on offer so they could select appropriate ones for their year groups.  All our children had the opportunity to complete an activity where they could make something to take home which the children always enjoy.  Parent helpers all commented on the organisation of the day and how lovely the staff in the activity tents were.  Thank you for all the information in advance. ” 

thank-you to you and everyone else for making this such a great day out, and the weather was perfect!”

“I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for putting on the event today.  Again, our children have experienced new opportunities and have had a great time.   I have no doubt though that all children (and teachers!) will be having an early night after such a good day. Many thanks again.”

“The ‘Creature Features’ lady was wonderful – such a lovely calm manner with the children which made them feel at ease with the animals.  My class loved holding a snake and a Turantula and remembered lots of facts about them when they returned to school.”

“we brought our whole school to event once again, need I say more!”

“Children loved making Kites with ‘Wild Beverley.’  The shear joy on their faces when they realised their kite was actually flying was wonderful! “ 

The children had a fantastic day at Countryside Live and thoroughly enjoyed their activities.”

lamb born1

lamb born 2

lamb born 3

A lamb is born! With St Clement Vets

A few comments from Exhibitors

“Another great event, very well organised, and very well laid out and good mix of events and activities. Thank you. Looking forward to next year!”

“Thank you once again for a well organised, well attended event which as usual met all expectations. We had two fantastic days and are already looking forward to next year.”

“We had a great time at the event as always. And looking forward to the next one!”

“It has been a pleasure as usual Barbara! Been a fantastic couple of days.”

“Thank you for all of your hard work. It is an amazing experience for the children and adults. Had lots of comments from visitors to the tent saying how much they were enjoying themselves and learning lots from all the exhibitors. There was a really good vibe over the two days.”

“We all enjoyed this year’s countryside live event, and clearly most of the children did too! Thank you for such a well organised event, we all enjoyed it!”


Getting up close to the tractor with
Farming and Countryside Education



 Beekeeping with the Barkston Ash Beekeepers Association


meeting the bugs

Bugs with The Bug Lady

shelter building

shelter building 2

shelter building3

Shelter Building in action with Countryside Learning


web-sheep show fleece

sheep show

Sheep fleece and dancing sheep with The Sheep Show


birds of prey in the arena



Birds of Prey with Xtreme Falconry

meeting the hounds

meeting the hounds2

Meet the Airedale beagles

web-dog and duck

Dog and Duck Show

meeting gundogs

meeting the gundogs

Meet the gundogs

animals on mobile farm

mobile farm

mobile farm2
Fun with the farm animals from Ian’s Mobile Farm

pond dipping

pond dipping with RSPB

Pond dipping with the RSPB

meeting stick insect

meeting stick insect2

Getting close to a stick insect with
Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside

minibeast hunting

Mini-beast hunting with Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside

making paper pots

making paper pots2

Seed planting in a home made paper pot with Countryside Learning

making kites

almost finished kite

finished kite

Kite Making with Wild Beverley

finished corn dollies
Corn Dollies with Countryside Learning

viking bracelet
Making a wool friendship bracelet with Sun Jester

holding a tarantula

Getting to grips with a tarantula with Animals Intuition


willow weaving

Willow weaving with Willowpool Designs

food web

food web2

Learning about a food web with Teaching Trees

making a fantasy play area

Building a fantasy farm with Green Monster Arts


Some more teacher comments:

“We wanted the children to learn about the countryside and see animals that they would not normally have contact with (our school is in a very deprived urban area and children do not visit the countryside.”

 “Thank you to all the stall holders and organisers – this was our first visit and it was very educational and fun.”

“Excellent event – there was such a lot to pack in and we only saw a fraction of what was available.”

We always feed back to the rest of the school through assemblies and displays and it complements the FFL/Outdoor Curriculum that we want to promote so much to our children.”

“We always have an amazing day at Countryside Live as there is so much to do. As the lead teacher I enjoy finding new activities for our children to experience and they always, always go home with big smiles on their faces! Its my favourite trip to organise and by far the best to enjoy with the children. Every year it is organised perfectly and you know that you don’t have to worry about anything.”

“There were no activities that were not stimulating is some way.The craft activities were great.


ferret racing

ferret racing2

Ferret Racing with Ferret World

felt flowers

nature bunting

Felt making and nature bunting with Countryside Learning

wormery with National Trust

Building wormeries with The National Trust

counting tree rings

tree measuring

Counting Tree rings and measuring trees with Countryside Learning

being a jockey
Being a jockey with Racing to School

Coming close to a bat with The Bat Show

police wildlife crime 

 Solving wildlife crime with West Yorkshire Police

pollinator parks with Groundwork

Learning about pollination with Groundwork


Some  more exhibitor comments

“I think it’s fantastic!!! And I find the teachers’ interaction and organisation seems to gets better every year I’m sure because they now know what a fab event it is.”

“Well organised, educational, varied, friendly. This gives the children (and adults) an experience of the countryside that some of the visitors may never experienced had they not come to the event. From comments from the teachers I know the children are building valuable lifelong memories.”

“A good mix of educational learning, yet fun at the same time.”


 “Great as always, really enjoy being part of it.”

 “Good spread of activities and interests. Lots of information given out in a clear concise way.”

“As always, a very smoothly run event , friendly and helpful staff and great schools.”

” I think Countryside Live is a fantastic event. A tremendous opportunity for so many young people to experience a taste of such a huge variety of activities. I imagine a lot of time and effort has been put in to organising the event – huge respect to all concerned!”

 “Lovely venue, lovely people, efficient as ever, satisfying and all good fun. We really enjoy working with you.”



hand washingpicnic time

Not forgetting hand washing and picnics

Thank you everyone who took part in Countryside Live this year, we certainly couldn’t do it without you and look forward to seeing you all next year.