A farm on Dartmoor that offers outdoor learning experiences to children has won a prestigious award.

East Shallowford Farm, a working farm in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park, has won the Prince of Wales Award.

Run by the Shallowford Trust, the farm was bought in 1976 specifically as a hill farm to engage even the most disenfranchised children to learn.

The Prince of Wales Award seeks to reward those involved with community projects that involve and educate young people. 

The award judges found that East Shallowford Farm’s compelling entry clearly distinguished it as the winner - and as such will receive £1,000 to further its objectives. 

Julia McDade, trust manager at the farm said: "‘At East Shallowford Farm we aim to make a difference. Not only in the practical application of school-based education, but by enabling young people whose knowledge of the world is often so limited, they find it difficult to engage in activities, experiences and opportunities. We encourage young people to engage in ways beyond their imagination.

"The benefits of learning in a truly outdoor context are proven to significantly improve both aspiration and attainment. 

"For many children who visit, it is the first time they have felt the texture of soil, planted a seed, buried their fingers deep into the fleece of a live sheep, discover what lives in natural streams or rub the noses with one of our friendly pigs. 

"Equally importantly, we are opening eyes, stimulating feelings, emotions and experiences that are critical to mental health and wellbeing."

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Reacting to winning the award, Julia said: "This is such a welcome donation to the farm.  We have recently invested in developing the building and this additional space will really help to extend our reach to even more children. 

"We now have residential facilities for up to 32 people including staff, but we can also cater for smaller groups, preferring to split any sized group into units of approx. 12 or less."

Julia will be presented with the Trusts’ Award at Devon County Show by Judges Lady Arran and The Hon Sarah Lopes.