David Ward of Bridgetown Farm in Iddesleigh, Devon, was awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund Award in England and Wales at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards, at the Royal Welsh Show, in Builth Wells, Wales.
Bridgetown Farm is a supplier to Dawn Meats’ West Devon facility. David runs a family farm in Devon, farming both beef and lamb, where he manages a herd of 140 suckler cattle and 140 breeding ewes. David has dedicated 40 years of his life to working with the ‘Farms for City Children’ charity, which offers urban children from the age 9 – 11, the unique opportunity to spend a week living and working on a farm in the heart of the countryside, to gain an understanding of rural life, food production and animal welfare. The children come to David’s farm from 31 schools across London, Portsmouth, Barnstaple and Plymouth.
Every morning David picks up the school children and their teachers, from Nethercott House, the Farms for City Children residence, in a specially converted tractor and trailer and they spend the day working on the farm interacting with the farm animals, working in the outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. At any time there are between 36-40 children and teachers working on the farm under David’s guidance.
M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation. The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term.
David Ward, Owner of Bridgetown Farm said: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund Award at the M&S Farming for the Future Awards. The charity is very close to my heart, and over the past 40 years it has been extremely rewarding to see children spending a week on our farm getting a real understanding of where their food comes from, sustainable farming and rural life. These children leave our farm with important information that they can pass on to future generations.”
Isla Roebuck, Operations Director, Dawn Meats (UK), said: “We are very proud of Bridgetown Farm’s win at today’s M&S Farming for the Future Awards and of David’s commitment to educating children about farming, the countryside and food production. At Dawn, we are fully committed to ensuring all of our products have traceability from farm gate to plate, and believe that knowing where your food comes from is of the highest importance. We congratulate David for equipping the hundreds of children who come through his farm every year with this knowledge, teaching them the importance of food production and broadening their horizons by becoming familiar with rural life.”