Free Reading on the Countryside by Hunter Adair
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Hunter Adair has made a huge difference to the farming and country community across the UK. Whilst working for the Milk Marketing Board, he was asked by the Minister of Agriculture to take primary school children out to the nearby farms and dairies.
It was as he was doing this three days a month for several years that he came to realise how little the children knew about farming and the countryside. This inspired him to write books for children based on these subjects.
Eight books later and he’s donated thousands of these and the DVDs he had made, to primary schools in the north of England and in Scotland.
These titles include Guide to the Countryside, How to Build Stone Walls, The History of the Clydesdale Horse, Farm Animals and Farming, and The People who Live and Work in the Countryside, to name a few.
‘I’ve been involved all the time with children and schools. But my aim was to teach children about farming and the countryside and where food comes from; that kind of thing. That was my real aim.’
Overall Hunter has written about 30 books with eight more manuscripts in the pipeline. They are all linked to aspects of the country – farming, wildlife, the countryside – and include lots of stunning drawings and paintings also done by the man himself.
He said: ‘My books, drawings and paintings were on the Country Trust website and the Royal Highland Education Trust was linked into this. It was all free to use for children and teachers.’
The Country Trust is a charity that works on getting children from deprived areas in England and Wales more involved in learning about the countryside.
Similarly, The Royal Highland Education Trust is a charity that strives for the same outcome, creating opportunities for Scottish children to obtain a greater understanding and experience of rural life. They achieve this through different activities; taking children to farms (as Hunter has done), sending speakers to visit the children in the classrooms and forming a network of local groups.