Knutsford meets Kenya at Tatton Park
Yesterday (Thursday 24th November 2017) at Tatton Park, local school children from Egerton Primary School in Knutsford met with teachers from Egerton School in Njoro, Kenya, to help develop Tatton’s new Field to Fork project.
Youngsters Dominic Townley, Alfred Fletcher and Daniella Webb were the first children in the UK to get a sneak peak at the £1.3 million project, which will launch at the farm in spring next year.
The school guests, along with Rosy the cow and Malchi the sheepdog, were all filmed for a unique augmented reality app which visitors will be able to download to enhance their future farm experience.
Dominic, Alfred and Daniella were also given a first-look tour of the site, including previously closed buildings such as the impressive three -storey Mill and its recently restored machinery.
Tatton Park’s last Lord Egerton, Maurice, died in 1958 but spent much of his life in Kenya where he established a school, an agricultural university and replica castle.
He was credited with introducing green beans to Kenya, which now form the backbone of the country’s agricultural exports.
Kenyan Egerton school headteacher Florence Kimani and teacher Margaret Onyango were keen to share their stories of Maurice and the impact he had on their country and school.
Florence commented: “We celebrate the legacy of Maurice Egerton every year on Founders Day in September when the children and teachers write and perform songs and poems at the Egerton castle.
“Maurice is a real legend in Njoro with books written about him and improvements in agriculture attributed to him – he even forms part of a university teacher training course!”
Mauriuce Egerton’s legacy in Kenya is just one of the fascinating stories to be told through the Field to Fork project.
It was only discovered by accident in 2006 and since then Alison Hooper, the headteacher of Egerton Primary School in Knutsford has visited Kenya regularly and has set up the Egerton Schools’ Foundation.
Alison said: “The aim of the foundation is to promote an enriched and sustainable approach to the high quality global education of children in both schools – allowing them to each gain a better understanding of life in the other’s country.
“This programme is critical for the development of our children into global citizens. This is a real and living legacy of the Egerton family of Tatton Park.”
Carole Mullineux, business development manager at Tatton Park, said: “We’re extremely excited about the launch of Field to Fork at the farm next year – it was great to be able to give children from Egerton Primary School an early viewing.
“It was also fascinating to learn more about Maurice Egerton’s influence in Kenya and we’re really looking forward to telling this story for the first time as part of this ground-breaking initiative.”
Field to Fork is a £1.3million project that will tell the life of Tatton Park’s agricultural processes and community over the last few centuries.
This includes its buildings, machinery, the people who lived and worked there, the farming practices and the animals reared there over hundreds of years.
From spring 2018, visitors will be able to explore previously closed farm buildings, such as the mill and the slaughterhouse, and enjoy guided and virtual reality tours, demonstrations and interactive models.