Let Nature Feed Your Senses

Getting Out More

Feedback from the first visits

The health benefits of being out in the fresh air are well documented, and yet many people find it difficult to gain access to the countryside because of age, disability or social circumstances. Let Nature Feed Your Senses sets out to change that. Thanks to work by the Sensory Trust and LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), a network of volunteers is now coordinating visits to farms and nature sites for excluded groups from all over England.

The visits are designed to give people who would otherwise have difficulty visiting the countryside a chance to join in with many activities such as feeding animals, spreading hay, exploring woodlands and hedgerows; and to watch some of the day to day work that goes into producing the food they eat. Clear and detailed guidelines, timings, and risk assessments ensure that the visit environment is supportive and comfortable for people of different ages and with a diverse range of abilities.

So far Let Nature Feed Your Senses, part of Natural England’s Access to Nature programme, has welcomed groups from primary schools, special needs schools and older people from care homes. In all cases the feedback has been excellent. Not only are people learning about how and where their food is produced, but they are out in the fresh air enjoying a memorable and stimulating experience.

Elizabeth Burbridge, a teacher from a primary school in London brought her class to visit a farm in Berkshire. We asked her if her class would want to visit a farm again. “Most definitely! This was a truly incredible experience for children who come from a very deprived part of inner-city London.”

Child shown eggs in hay

“The visit gave them a chance to experience things that they had never experienced before such as feeding the cows, running in an open field and so on. It also really helped them develop a much better understanding of the environment and living things. All the teachers who took part said that the visit had quite simply been the best visit we had ever taken children on. The children have all been asking when we can we go back!”

The benefits of the visits last far beyond the day, and the activities on the visit can form the basis for group work, reminiscence, conversation and other projects. After one visit a group leader told us: “they all talked non-stop about it on the way home; even a little girl who was an elective mute at school until the beginning of this school year.”

To find out more about how you can arrange to visit a farm or nature reserve near you, visit www.letnaturefeedyoursenses.org

Big Lottery FundNatural England


Introduction to Let Nature Feed Your Senses

Discovery Bags - bags designed to make visits engaging and sensory-rich for all groups.

Aims and evaluation - detail from the project plan

Conferences - reports and links

Benefits of contact with nature for everyone? - article outlining barriers that prevent some groups accessing the benefits

Sensory learning and our environment - article about how we learn through all our senses and implications for connecting with our environment

Children and the natural world - article arguing that children are not over-stimulated by computer games and television as is often claimed in the media.

Go Outside and Play - article outlining the benefits of play and spending time outdoors

Visit the LNFYS Photo gallery

More detail about visits

To find out more about how you can arrange to visit a farm or nature reserve near you, visit www.letnaturefeedyoursenses.org

Let Nature Feed Your Senses