Students from The Cotswold School in Bourton attended an agricultural careers fair last month for the first time in five years.

The Farming and Rural Economy Careers Day is a biennial fixture on the school’s calendar, but was cancelled in 2019 due to bad weather and postponed in 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions.

It returned to the Avenue field on a sunny day at the end of June. Students students in Years 7-10 and Year 12, plus children from Bourton Primary School, visited exhibitors' stalls to find out more about subjects such as biodiversity, arable crops, equine care, and estate management. 

They spoke with representatives and owners of a range of rural businesses and tried out some practical activities, to help them discover more about the local economy and the different careers available. 

Students were able to climb on a combine harvester, tractors and even used a racehorse simulator.

Tanya Robbins of Nosehill Farm, Stow-on-the-Wold, helped organise the event along with Phil White, careers leader and head of sixth form at The Cotswold School. 

Cotswold Journal: Tanya Robbins, of Nosehill Farm, speaks to studentsTanya Robbins, of Nosehill Farm, speaks to students

“As a farmer, the interest shown by the children was very encouraging and we really enjoyed talking with the teachers as well,” said Tanya.

A Representative from the racing and equine sector said: “The children were all so polite and loved the mechanical horse. 

Cotswold Journal: Racehorse simulator from Bourton Vale Equestrian CentreRacehorse simulator from Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre

"It was great seeing them grow in confidence from walking past as they entered the field to having a go later on. 

"We had a lot of fun.” 

"Another exhibitor commented, “It gives businesses the best opportunity to show case their organisation to young people. It was great to see the amount of local businesses attending to give the students a broader idea of what’s in the rural area.” 

Interactive displays and activities included planting seeds, sorting through fossils, guessing the weight and sampling vegetables. Each visiting business contributed questions to a quiz for people to complete as they toured the fair. 

Exhibitors included Cotswold Farm Park, Hacklings, Cotteswold Dairy, Tayler & Fletcher, Tree Frontiers, Keighley Racing, Nosehill Farm. There were also many local producers as well as further education providers including the Royal Agricultural University and Hartpury College.