Five things children learned about farming at the Norfolk Spring Fling

A two-weeks-old Jacob lamb from the Stody Estate, gets a cuddle from Taverham friends at the Spring

A two-weeks-old Jacob lamb from the Stody Estate, gets a cuddle from Taverham friends at the Spring Fling. From left, Ben Aldborough, six; Mia Blyth, seven; and Rebecca Barber, six. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The 18th annual Spring Fling drew 5,000 visitors to the Norfolk Showground – here are five things children learned about food and farming at the National Farmers' Union's new discovery barn.

1: Every year, UK farmers grow enough sugar beet to produce 2.3bn bags of sugar. More than a third of it is grown in Norfolk.

2: A wheat field roughly the size of a rugby pitch produces eight tonnes of grain – enough for 10,000 loaves of bread.

3: The amount of strawberries grown on British farms each year would be enough to feed visitors to more than 4,000 Wimbledon tennis tournaments.

4: Sheep and cows have just one set of bottom teeth, a thick gummy pad in the roof of their mouths, and four stomachs to help them chew and digest grass.

5: Around half of all the meat eaten in the UK is poultry, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. About 11pc of these birds come from Norfolk.

The annual Easter holiday event, hosted by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), is aimed predominantly at children aged between four and 11 years old.

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The 18th Spring Fling featured more than 70 stands including a variety of spring lambs and cattle, scientific experiments, sausage and ice cream making, and the ever-popular dancing sheep in the Sheep Show.

Other organisations attending include Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Green Britain Centre, National Trust, RSPB, Norfolk Young Farmers, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics, and Easton and Otley College.

Greg Smith, chief executive of the RNAA, said: 'We think it's really important that every child should have the opportunity to learn about the environment in which they are living.

'It's important per se, but also important in that the richness of farming and what goes on in the countryside can give people lessons in life.

'We see that as really important and if we can give people that connection and that experience we can sleep happier in our beds.'