PRINCE Charles’ passion for food and the countryside was passed on to Steyning pupils during a school visit.
Year five pupils from Steyning Primary School were able to meet and talk with the Prince of Wales when he visited the Wiston Estate last Friday.
The nine and ten-year-olds were taking part in a Chef on the Farm day, learning about the sheep flock, digging potatoes, picking herbs and making lamb burgers.
The Prince was shown around by estate manager Richard Goring and spoke to Dan Corlett, chief executive of the Farming and Countryside Education Trust, and Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, about the Countryside Classroom initiative.
Mr Corlett said the royal visit was important for the project, because the Prince was well-known for his understanding of food, farming and the natural environment, and it was vital that passion was passed on to children.
Mrs Stanes said they would like to see all schools teaching children about farming and taking food back to basics.
Chef Peter Vaughan helped the children to mould and fry lamb burgers seasoned with fresh herbs from the garden.
They also chopped up courgettes and tomatoes for a salsa and snipped up fresh mint and parsley with scissors.
Romey Mills, ten, said she did a lot of cooking at home and often helped when the family had barbecues, including making the burgers.
Noah Finch spoke to Prince Charles about the herbs they were using and how they were preparing them.
Matilda Murdoch-Cole said: “I told him what we were putting in the salsa and said we were putting it on the burgers.”
The Prince joined one group foraging in the garden and helped them to dig up some potatoes, using a garden fork.
He then went on to speak to another group who were learning about the forestry work on the estate.
Oliver Richards said: “It was brilliant.”
Leah Pritchard said she was pleased to be able to speak to the Prince, who asked the children about the badges they were wearing.
“We talked about what the head teacher awards were and the school holidays,” she said.
“It feels funny. When you are speaking to someone important, you don’t know what to say.”
David Herson, chairman of governors, accompanied the children on the trip.
He said afterwards: “I was impressed by how smoothly the arrangements went and it was quite clear that the children from year five at Steyning Primary really enjoyed the whole experience, especially the opportunity to chat to Prince Charles.
“Even just the opportunity to visit Wiston House and explore the estate was pretty exciting. I’m confident that they learned quite a lot from the various activities and will all have many happy memories of the afternoon.”