The National Trust Reveals Consumers Need A Leg Up With Farming Knowledge

The National Trust has revealed the results from a new survey* which show that the vast majority (93 per cent) of people in Great Britain don’t know the best time of year to enjoy eating British lamb.

Only seven per cent of respondents correctly identified autumn as the time for tucking into one of Britain’s favourites, with half (49 per cent) choosing spring as the best time to serve lamb – the time of year when most lambs are born.

The research marks six months of the National Trust’s mass on-line MyFarm experiment at its 1,200 acre organic farm at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire.

The innovative project aims to involve people in farming and where their food comes from by enabling them to make decisions on a real working farm.

An online straw poll of the MyFarm community revealed that 19 per cent knew the best time of year to enjoy lamb – more than double the outcome of the wider non-subscriber survey – suggesting the experiment is making useful progress.

Richard Morris, the National Trust’s Farm Manager at Wimpole, said: “Eating lamb when it’s in season ensures consumers can enjoy the meat at its best.

“Lambs born in the spring feed outside on grass throughout the summer resulting in really flavoursome and tender meat.

“The lamb we see on our supermarket shelves in the spring is either shipped in from abroad, or has been barn-reared out of season without the benefit of maturing and developing naturally on grass.”

Other results highlighted consumer confusion over hogget (a mature lamb between one and two years old) with only 16 per cent of respondents aware that hogget is meat from sheep.

It also revealed only 40 per cent of Britons buy British lamb with 21 per cent buying its New Zealand relation and 16 per cent just indiscriminately selecting whatever is on the supermarket shelves.

By contrast, 51 per cent of MyFarm subscribers could identify hogget – three times as many as the wider survey – and 63 per cent brought British lamb.

Richard Morris added: “The National Trust is the country’s biggest farmer – more than 80 per cent of the 250,000 hectares of land under our care is farmed in some way and we see it as our role to re-connect people with farming and to encourage them to care more about where their food comes from.

“We can do this via experiments such as MyFarm which lift the lid on the realities of farming in the 21st Century.”

Via EPR Network
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Below the Surface Announces the Launch of Its Riverview Project

Below The Surface (BTS) announced today the launch of their interactive Riverview Project, the core program of BTS in the coming years. This initiative is a major leap forward in protecting America’s rivers through a permanent photographic record of the current conditions of America’s waterways. This heritage project will help guide generations to come in their use and stewardship of rivers and drinking water by providing a visual benchmark of the current state of the nation’s water.

The main focus of the Riverview Project is to provide panoramic photos and videos of America’s most imperiled rivers. It is, essentially, Google’s Streetview for the nation’s waterways. Below the Surface’s co-founder Jared Criscuolo says “the Riverview Project represents a major step forward for protecting our rivers. It allows Below the Surface and the greater environmental movement, along with water management leaders, to leverage social media and cutting edge photographic techniques to create the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to explore rivers. We hope this effort will compound social exposure to water issues and the conditions along rivers, and to inspire stewardship of these critical resources both now and among future generations.”

Below the Surface is working with the following partners, who without their collaboration or funding the Riverview Project would be made possible: United States Geological Survey (USGS), Immersive Media, Surfrider Foundation, and the Clif Bar Family Foundation.

“We’re extremely excited to cooperate with Below the Surface in order to help produce and make accessible 3D photography for as many streams as possible,” says Katherine Lins, Chief, Office of Water Information for USGS.

Below the Surface is also being featured in the December 2011 issue of Outside Magazine as part of its “Reader of the Year” initiative. Below The Surface founders Jared Criscuolo and Kristian Gustavson are being honored as the 2011 “Readers of the Year.” As part of the initiative, Criscuolo and Gustavson will blog about the Riverview Project on the Outside site, Outsideonline.com, detailing their progress throughout the year. In support of Beneath The Surface, Outside Magazine is also providing a free subscription to supporters of BTS who pledge a donation of $50 or more via the BTS site through December 2011. Please email riverview@belowthesurface.org for additional information and ways to sponsor and contribute to the project.

Via EPR Network
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7,000 Kids Join UK’s Biggest Ever School Trip

Energy, water and healthy living will be the highlight of the timetable for 7,000 school kids this week (7 – 11 November) as they join the UK’s biggest ever school trip to get a real taste of learning about sustainability outside the classroom.

At The Co-operative’s ‘Green Schools Revolution: LIVE!’ events up and down the country, all 7,000 pupils will get to visit one of eleven UK Science and Discovery Centres, including the Eden Project (Cornwall), the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (London), Thinktank (Birmingham), Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester), W5 (Belfast), Satrosphere (Aberdeen) and Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) (Wales) for a special Green Schools Revolution lesson.

During the week, each venue will bring unique experiences into the Green Schools Revolution programme, from pupils ascending 305 steps to the top of the world’s only climbable wind turbine at Ecotech in Norfolk, to exploring the importance of plants and the vital role they play in sustainable and healthy living at Kew Gardens.

Entry to the venues for all 7,000 children is fully funded by The Co-operative, with the first 100 schools to have registered also landing themselves subsidised coach travel.

According to research by The Co-operative, 92 per cent of children (aged 7-14) want to learn more about green issues, helping to save the environment and healthy living*, which are the key components of the Green Schools Revolution.

And parents are backing the initiative too with 87 per cent of them wanting their kids to learn more about green issues*. This could be down to the fact their own green knowledge is lacking – over half of parents are confused about what causes climate change*. Clearly educating their children has a much wider impact as parents are willing to learn from their kids with 95 per cent saying they have become greener as a result of their kids pester power*.

The Co-operative’s Green Schools Revolution education programme, part of its Inspiring Young People campaign, was launched in 3,000 primary and secondary schools in September by farmer and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty. It has been designed to inspire the next generation of green pioneers, with free lessons including recycling tips, trips and green activities and leisure ideas available to all UK primary and secondary schools.

Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Campaigns, said: “We are lucky that our youngsters have such a tremendous appetite to learn more about green issues. Green Schools Revolution LIVE! will be the UK’s biggest ever school trip giving school children from all four corners of the UK the opportunity to visit their nearest Science and Discovery Centre for an inspirational school visit that will ensure the next generation are better equipped for the challenge of building a more sustainable world.”

Jean Miller, Head teacher of Hottsbridge Primary School in Waterbeck near Lockerbie, said: “This superb event will enable schools to build upon and develop important skills for our children to become creative, inventive and enterprising adults in a world where the skills and knowledge of the environment are needed across all sectors of the economy for a sustainable future.

“Green education is so important to us and this programme fits in perfectly, not only with our Science, Social Studies and Health and Wellbeing curriculum, but also with our overall school ethos and the School Improvement Plan. With the Co-operative’s strong environmental credentials behind Green Schools Revolution, we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on being part of this exciting programme.”

To find out more about Green Schools Revolution visit www.greenschools.coop. *Opinion Matters interviewed 1,027 children aged between 7 and 14 and 1,002 parents of children aged 7 – 14 in August 2011.

Via EPR Network
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