The Stepping into Nature team, led by the Dorset AONB, has partnered with LEAF Education to offer 12 individuals working on farms in the Dorset AONB a fully funded place to undertake the Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS), benefit from 1:1 support and receive payment for their first hosted visit. This opportunity has been made possible thanks to funding from the Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme.

The training will take place over 2 full days, Tuesday 30th January and Tuesday 27th February in Bridport, Dorset. Spaces will be allocated on first come, first serve basis. Booking is essential.

To be eligible you must be working on a farm that is in the Dorset AONB. View a map here.

New accessible trailer with Jake and Chrissy Hancock at Middlebere Farm

What is CEVAS?

The Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme gives farmers the tools, knowledge and practical guidance needed to host safe and impactful farm visits. This course shares how food and farming can be incorporated into the school curriculum and how to communicate effectively with both teachers and pupils. CEVAS gives farmers the confidence and the ability to work with a diverse
audience, and to be able to alter their offering accordingly, taking into account the specific learning needs of each group. Courses are held in-person over two days and build a portfolio of evidence, such as the production of publicity material and visit risk assessments.

CEVAS is the industry’s leading accredited training programme for those looking to work with school groups and the public on-farm and in outdoor settings. CEVAS counts towards BASIS, Dairy Pro and Pig Pro points. It is an Open College Network level 2 qualification that belongs to the delegate not their place of work.

What 1:1 support does each farmer get?

As part of the programme of support, each farmer will also receive up to 3 days of free consultancy and support from Jo Hatton (the local LEAF ES). This may include helping to complete the CEVAS portfolio, recruiting schools for the initial farm visit, on-farm planning session and supporting on yourfirst visit.

What support does each farmer get to host their first visit?

The Dorset AONB will pay £318 towards each farmer’s first hosted visit at the farm, equivalent of most Natural England Higher Level Stewardship agreements. This needs to be delivered in 2024.

How to find out more or register your interest?

For more information about the course or to book your place please contact Jo Hatton at LEAF Education: Email jo.hatton@leaf.eco or call 07973 301962.

There is a maximum of 12 places, allocated first come, first serve. If you book a place, you must be fully committed to attending the course. To show that you are committed, we ask for a £60 deposit that will get returned to you upon the successful completion of the course.

Volunteers helping to plant orchard trees

Further information

What if my farm needs improvements before hosting visits?

Through the training you may identify that you will need to improve your farm to make it appropriate for visits. The Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme may be able to support these costs, such hand washing stations, improving classroom areas or displays or fees to engage an external specialist (bee keeper etc) to assist a visit. To find out more about the Farming in Protected Landscapes
Scheme please contact grants officer Rachel Janes on rachel.janes@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk or 01305 228256.

Who are the organisations involved as part of this programme of support?

LEAF Education
LEAF Education, works to engage, inspire and motivate young people through experiential learning, in order to equip our future generations with a balanced and informed insight into food production, farming and the environment. Read the Impact Report for 2020/21. LEAF Education supports farmers and land managers on projects which meet the ‘People Outcomes’ part of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme. This support is delivered by our Education Specialists (ESs) who work alongside farmers and schools to offer high quality learning opportunities. The ESs are well placed to support projects as they have contact with schools as well as bringing a wealth of knowledge and
experience from supporting other farmers to host educational activities.

Dorset AONB
The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a nationally important landscape. The Dorset AONB Partnership works to conserve and enhance, promote and provide access to this beautiful and uniquely varied landscape. Find out more about their work.

Stepping into Nature
For some people it can be difficult to find suitable opportunities to enjoy nature. Ability, confidence, and age can all influence what we can and can’t do. The Stepping into Nature project is about listening to our community in Dorset and working in partnership to enable everyone to enjoy nature. Find out more about their work.

Farming in Protected Landscapes Programme
Through this programme, farmers and land managers can be supported to carry out projects that support nature recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage, or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses. Find out more about their work