At the end of last year, a group of seven young people and support workers from Malton charity, Ryedale Special Families visited Uncleby Education Centre and enjoyed a fun day of walking, learning and crafting.

The event was organised by former teacher (and Adam’s mum), Esther Palmer, who said: “In addition to a farm walk that was led by Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil founder, Adam Palmer and fellow farmer, Mike Stringer, we also explored creative activities including nature wreath-making and pumpkin carving. The group also enjoyed finding out more about the tractor and learning about the field-to-fork journey of rapeseed and locally grown cereal crops that we tailored to suit the age of the group who ranged from three to 22.”

Ryedale Special Families’ care co-ordinator Kate Swift enjoyed the day: ” I thought the farm day was great. Both children and staff were welcomed and well looked after. There was a relaxed atmosphere and the children had plenty of time to enjoy each aspect: they loved the tractor and got lots of time and attention whilst sitting in it. The people at the farm could have been part of RSF because of how they interacted with our group. The activities were enjoyed by all.”

Uncleby is one of two Yorkshire Wolds farms that is the base for free Farm Discovery Days that are suitable for pupils of all ages. The other is Breckenholme, our home and where we produce Yorkshire Rapseseed Oil.

Designed by Mrs Palmer and led by a farmer, each Farm Discovery Day is carefully planned with the teacher to match the curriculum and is tailored to the needs of the individual group and is suitable for foundation, primary and secondary-aged pupils plus children with learning disabilities. The visits are funded by Natural England as part of its ‘One Million Children Outdoors’ programme which aims to introduce one million school-age children to the natural environment and connect them with how their food is grown and reared.

“Using the great outdoors as a classroom is a fantastic way to inspire young people. Me and farmer Mike introduce the children to a day on the farm. Whether that’s discovering animals or crops up close, our days are always linked to field to fork and the nature around us and are designed to engage the children with nature and farming,” said Mr Palmer.

“This Spring sees a return to our popular ‘Focus on Sheep’ Days that includes meeting and talking with a shepherd and having contact with young lambs and ewes. The children learn how we manage the flock, the life cycle of the sheep, how we use the wool, and when and how the lambs go to market.”

Bookings are now being taken for a limited number of Focus on Sheep Days. For more information and to book, contact Marcelle Tisserant by calling 01759 361550 or emailing

Photo: Adam Palmer and Ryedale Special Families’ support workers Grace Dolan (left) and Becky Stephenson (right) are pictured with some of the visitors.