John Muir Trust congratulates farmers on countryside education award

Farmers Trevor and Paul Wheeler win the national Bayer/Farming And Countryside Education Award in recognition of their educational work.

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The award celebrates outstanding contributions to helping children learn about food, farming and the natural environment. 

Brynmawr, based in the South Shropshire Hills, is a family run organic hill farm which produces traditional beef and lamb.  The farm’s educational facilities have been built up to include renewable technology and a straw bale classroom so that hundreds of local children, young people and adults from all walks of life can be welcomed each year. As a ‘Care Farm’, Brynmawr also enables children with learning difficulties to help look after animals and grow plants, with regular visits building knowledge and confidence.

Local school children participating in the John Muir Award – the John Muir Trust’s main engagement initiative - have learnt about the importance of biodiversity, farming and all aspects of the Clun Forest landscape through spending time at the farm. “Opening up the farm as an educational resource has been very important to Paul and me. We are very pleased that understanding the work of a farm, and its role in the landscape, is part of the upbringing of local youngsters. We’re delighted to have received the Bayer/FACE Award, as it also recognises the contribution of the partners we work with and the hard work everyone has put in.“

Both the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership make extensive use of the farm in conjunction with their own reserves and the broader Shropshire landscape and they have delivered almost 200 John Muir Awards to local school pupils so far this year.  The Award has become a core part of the work of these partner organisations, integrated and embraced enthusiastically by staff such as Cath Landles of Shropshire AONB Partnership: “The John Muir Award has given me the framework to open people’s eyes to what’s on their doorstep and connect schools to their local landscapes”

Andy Naylor, John Muir Award England Manager, congratulated Trevor and Paul, saying “We’re proud to be associated with the educational work at Brynmawr, and applaud its exemplary partnership working across local schools and conservation organisations. It’s a richly deserved accolade for promoting high quality outdoor learning experiences.”

For further information on:

  • how countryside and education providers can link the John Muir Award to the national curriculum  click here.
  • educational opportunities at Brynmawr on their website and Facebook page.
  • Shropshire Hills AONB website.
  • Shropshire Wildlife Trust website.
  • Farming And Countryside Education Awards, click here.

The John Muir Award in England is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.