Happy Faces

 Review of the 14th
Countryside Live at Lee Valley Regional Park
Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September 2016

Countryside Learning, in partnership with Lee Valley Regional Park Authority ran another successful Countryside Live event for primary schools in 2016. Over 3000 primary children from the London Boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, Newham, Redbridge, Slough, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, visited the schools days, with their teachers.



Arriving by coach

Almost 40 organisations exhibited at the event and many of them commented on the enthusiastic, well behaved children.

There was a full arena programme going on throughout the day with sheepdog, gundog and falconry displays, there was also a chance to meet the beagles and the ever popular ferret racing.

Detail : Countryside Lives - London Event Photographer Doug Blanks Date : September - 2016


 Meeting the Fullers Shire Horses
before having a ride on the Dray


What were your objectives for the day and how
far did you meet these objectives?

“To experience a different experience and be ‘hands-on’, these objectives were fully met at the event.”

“To learn more about the outdoors, to see some rural animals and to have a significant experience to talk about after the trip. All objectives met, it provided much to discuss afterwards and it was a good focal point for cross curricular links.”

“To see various types of farm animals and to use field apparatus to capture insects. We saw a variety of animals and sucessfully captured insects with the apparatus provided.”

“To learn about the nature around us. To know how to protect the environment. To gain an awareness of country life and traditions. I feel that all objectives were met to a degree that was appropriate for the children’s age.”

“To introduce children to a range of animals, to touch and experience different craft activities and adventures and to cope with a new, stimulating environment. Objectives fully met!”

“To learn about food and its production and we certainly did that.”

“To introduce the children to ‘the world outside Forest Gate!’ The children are studying the environment at the moment which meant that much of what we saw and participated in was relevant. Also being Art and DT co-ordinator, it was good to see the children have a go at traditional skills. As far as objectives, everything and more was met.”


Xtreme Falconry

Children had a chance to get up close with lots of animals




Farm animals including chickens

Detail : Countryside Lives - London Event Photographer Doug Blanks Date : September - 2016

Detail : Countryside Lives - London Event Photographer Doug Blanks Date : September - 2016

Birds of Prey





A ” race horse”

Which areas provided the most stimulation for the group?

“The Sheep Show – most enjoyable. Where the children were able to hold something, participate or make something.”

” The variety of activities available.”

“The arena events.”

“Animals and kinesthetic.”

“The children enjoyed a range of activities and didn’t stop talking about what they had seen.

“The minibeast hunting.”

“The food stalls – Potato Council and Ladies in Pigs.”

The children were able to have a go
at a variety of countryside crafts


Detail : Countryside Lives - London Event Photographer Doug Blanks Date : September - 2016
Willow Weaving

Felt Making


Corn Dolly making


Wood Turning

Detail : Countryside Lives - London Event Caption : Lily from Chisenhale Primary School - Tower Hamlets. Photographer Doug Blanks Date : September - 2016

Which areas provided the least stimulation for the group?
“Not applicable, the children had so much to be stimulated by.”

“The childen enjoyed ALL areas.”

“Some activities were inappropriate for the youngest children, but this did not matter as there were so many that were accessible.”

“Unfortunately the children suffered bad transport links both going and returning. If anything, that was all that marred the day.”

“All was great.”

Children learnt about the natural environment


Counting Tree Growth Rings


Disecting Owl Pellets



Making paper pots then planting seeds

Pond Dipping

 Pond dipping


Minibeast Hunting

How will you use what you have learnt from this
event when you return to the classroom?

“Input into Literacy lessons.”

“Writing a recount and producing a leaflet.”

“Our topic is community, it will inform the children’s learning.”

“We will use the experience to produce art back at school.”

“English lessons and it will fit into our topic about food.

” Children are continuing their topic work and hope to complete a piece of writing about the day, sharing their experiences with others.”

“We have already used the experience as a stimulus for some fantastic recount writing.”

“We had a quiz regarding life in the country. What could the children do to help wildlife in the city and country.”



The Sheep Show drew large crowds as usual


Would you plan to come to Countryside Live again?
Every school that returned an evaluation sheet said
that they would visit the event again, several even with a “definately”.

Any further comments?

“All very helpful and well run.”

Countryside Learning would like to thank
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority for its support
and to all the organisations and schools who took part in the event.
Dates for 2017 have been set for Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 September
with the event open to the public on the following weekend. See you there!


 Departing via public transport