The charity offers urban children from all over the country a unique opportunity to live and work together for a week at a time on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. It is an intense, ‘learning through doing’ experience of a different life – for children who may not know where their food comes from and have limited opportunities to explore the outside world.Farms for City Children aims to encourage learning, to raise self-esteem, and to enrich young lives by providing a safe and welcoming setting where children and their teachers together get involved in the working life of a real farm with real farmers. The main aims of the charity include: Addressing poverty of experience arising not just from economic and social deprivation, but also from the effects of increasing materialism. Using practical, hands-on learning outside the classroom to enhancing the requirements of the national curriculum and celebrating success and building self-worth through work and the completion of tasks.
Kate was greeted by founders Michael and Clare. Rebecca English noted "According to a spokesman for the charity, Kate read about its work in Country Life and approached them to see if she could come down to one of its farms."
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare founded Farms for City Children at Nethercott House in Devon in 1976.
The charity already has a special royal connection. The Princess Royal has been their Royal Patron since 1991 and has visited the farms on a number of occasions. Below, we see her visiting Nethercott House in 1986.
The organisation now has three working farms, where it welcomes around 3,200 children and 400 teachers a year. Last year they celebrated their 40th anniversary.
How do the children who visit the farm feel about their experience? They received this lovely letter from a pupil, I particularly enjoyed this portion "I'm gonna stop eating junk now, I think of my body as a fresh new Ferrari". The student continued "Being here has made me realise I can do anything I want in my life".
Kate visited Wick Court - a farm on the bend of River Severn in Gloucestershire. The house is a Grade II* listed manor house with an intact, square-shaped moat. The farm is in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and is farmed directly by the charity using low impact, traditional methods. There are a total of 140 acres, the charity farms 60 acres. Wick Court is a small-scale traditional livestock farm, with sheep, beef cattle, pigs and poultry. It also has a busy stable yard, where the children help care for ponies and horses. To illustrate the contrast in farming styles, the children also work at a neighbouring commercial dairy farm.
Kate listened to a briefing about the farm before joining a story time session led by Michael Morpurgo.
A key aim of the week is to draw on the farm experience and the charity’s literary heritage to promote literacy and storytelling.
Michael Morpurgo, with the Duchess of Cambridge, reads to school children during the Duchess's visit to a farm in Glos pic.twitter.com/mFMNnfkYEK— Rod Minchin (@rodminchin) May 3, 2017
The Duchess joined a school group of pupils and teachers as they got to work around around the farm.
Kate very much enjoyed feeding Stinky, a hand-reared lamb.
Then it was time to get to work on the farm as Kate and children completed work around the yard, working in the allotments and tending to pigs, sheep and chickens.
In case you'd ever wondered what a Duchess herding a pig might look like: pic.twitter.com/UmxOi5R3RH— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) May 3, 2017
Kate and the children from Vauxhall primary school helped Farmer John to herd piglets. “She was pushing the pig’s bum with her bare hands, It was just to move the pig along. It was second nature to her.” Edison David, the school’s head teacher, told reporters.
Kate was clearly in her element.
Planting onions in the vegetable farm.
The children showed Kate the horses.
Kensington Palace shared these snaps from the farm.
During a chat Kate revealed she has five chickens at home and said she is trying to teach George and Charlotte Spanish. More from the Mail Online:
'According to stockman Dave Evansoneya, 50, who has worked at Wick Court for eight years, the Duchess has a huge passion for chickens and provided hugely knowledgeable about them when invited to clean the farm's resident hens out.
'She has got several Cuckoo Marans at home, she told me. She says she had cleaned out a few chicken sheds in her time,' he recalled afterwards. 'She also told me and the children that she has an incubator of eggs at home at the moment with a hope that they are going to hatch into chicks. Her children are very excited. '
Rehanna , ten, chatted to the duchess at length and said afterwards: 'She said she had lots of animals at home, a dog, a hamster and her chickens. She said she also had lots of eggs in an incubator and they were hoping they would hatch into chicks. ' Her teacher Nicole Preston explained: 'The incubator is relatively new and she doesn't know if it is going to work. She says it takes 21 days but George and Charlotte are so excited that they come down each morning and peer inside to see if anything has happened!'
'She said she is trying to teach Charlotte Spanish and said her son George can count up to ten in Spanish already,' she said. 'We also told her how we found all the cameras a bit strange but she said although it was weird she had got used to it.'
Kate also revealed they had a birthday party for Charlotte yesterday and she sang Happy Birthday to herself :)
The visit concluded with cream tea in the courtyard, where Kate met some of the volunteers, staff and trustees.
In order to enable 3,200 children to visit the farms every year, the charity needs to raise a staggering 1.2 million annually. If you would like to help more children enjoy a week of "muck and magic" you can find donation information here.
online shop, with everything from mugs to tea towels. There's also a selection of works by Michael Morpugo including a book released for the 40th anniversary 'Didn't we have a lovely time' tells the story of a boy whose confidence and speech returns after meeting a very special horse down on the farm.
Kate was accompanied by Sophie Agnew once again.
The Duchess wore a selection of familiar pieces today.
Kate sported her £350 Troy London Wax Parka. The lightweight coat is made from 100% cotton milled in England with a dry wax finish. A black sports-luxe lining provides 100% waterproof protection. Below, we show Kate wearing it during the last day of the tour in Canada last year.
Holly and Ryan from the What Kate Wore Facebook Page identified Kate's top as the J Crew Italian Cashmere Long Sleeve T-Shirt in heather midnight. The garment features rib trim at neck, rolled edge at cuffs and hem and is described as "semi-fitted".
The piece is available in an array of colours from $99 to $199 at J Crew. The brand are offering an additional 30% off sale styles with discount code SHOPNOW. A thicker cashmere sweater (identical in style to the top) by the brand is offered at Net-A-Porter.
It appears Kate wore her GAP Fitted Boyfriend Gingham Shirt, worn in New Zealand in 2014.
We first saw Kate wear her Zara khaki jeans during a safari in Kaziranga National Park during the India/Bhutan tour.
The Mid-Rise biker trousers feature distinctive knee detail.
Kate wore her trusty Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots. Made in Spain, the boots are rendered in leather and feature scalloped detail at the zip pane. They are currently available at Moda Operandi.
The Duchess accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren leaf earrings.
And her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.
It very much appears Kate raided her 'royal tour' closet today :)