Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

The Country Channel Trust A Countryside Education


Photo Credit: Nigel Housden Pinsharp Photography All Rights Reserved (

By Robert MacDougall-Davies

The Country Channel Trust has a clear mission: To advance the education of the public, and in particular young people, in matters concerning or connected with the countryside. Launched at the 2008 CLA Game Fair by renowned country chef Mike Robinson, the Trust educates people of all ages and examines issues concerning all aspects of the countryside. In particular, the Trust specialises in airing untold stories in the countryside and the environment. Working alongside The Country Channel the Trust enables and distributes educational films, DVDs and interactive web-based content for teachers, students, parents and the general public.

The Duke of Westminster is the patron of The Trust which is backed by a team of very experienced Trustees with a wide range of skills. Through the hard work of the Trustees and the generosity of other parties, the Trust has established a reputation for delivering successful projects.   The six Trustees include BBC Breakfasts Bill Turnbull, Director of the Festival of Horse Clive Hetherington and renowned animal behavioural expert Gwen Bailey.

Paul Aitken, Founder of The country channel Trust passionately believes in countryside education: The Trust is an essential piece in the jigsaw for improving countryside education. It enables programmes to be produced that would otherwise have not been made about key issues that affect everybody. We are at the start of the development of the Trust and having the Duke of Westminster as the patron clearly demonstrates the commitment of senior landowners to the concept of linking education and the countryside.

The Trust actively works with educational and environmental organisations, including Farming and Countryside Education (FACE), The Countryside Foundation for Education (CFE), The National Farmers Union, Natural England and many others.  A particularly successful Trust production has been The Countryside News produced in collaboration with FACE with a grant from The Ernest Cook Foundation.  This is a countryside news programme informing young people about important issues in the British countryside.  The Trust also brought Grow with Me to fruition, a green fingered programme presented by champion grower Medwynn Williams.  This programme showcases a scheme intended to inspire pre-school children to start growing their own produce.

Another successful film, financed by a grant from The Country Channel Trust, features the transport heritage of the Duke of Westminsters Eaton Estate and includes a personal introduction from the Duke. The estate, which served as a hospital in both World Wars, has been home to the Grosvenor family since the early 15th century and is closed to the public for the majority of the year. This film focuses on the heritage and artefacts that have been a part of the Grosvenor family for generations, including the Dukes impressive carriage collection, his silver model of a Rolls Royce World War I armoured car and the historic Eaton Hall Railway.  The carriage collection is wonderfully diverse and provides a unique insight into a long vanished world of elegance.  Many of the examples were made by the finest London coachbuilders, themselves the best in the world, who competed to meet the high standards required by their discerning customers.

Currently in production, is a film called A Legacy for the Future.  This documentary tells the story of one of Britains most celebrated creatures; the red squirrel.  Immortalized by Beatrix Potter, in her book Tales of Squirrel Nutkin, the red squirrel was once a common sight in woodland Britain, but it is now on the verge extinction from the mainland.  Today, relatively isolated populations survive under increasing ecological competition from the non-native grey-squirrel.  This film, narrated by Alan Titchmarsh, reveals the plight of the red squirrel and will be broadcast in the autumn 2010. So with A Legacy for the Future, a host of other educational productions on the horizon, and a bright future ahead it is onwards and upwards for The Country Channel Trust.


All the educational material and television programming supported by the The Country Channel Trust (registered charity: 1124337) is broadcast on the free-to-view Country Channel at and on Sky Channel 171.

Much of The Country Channels work, alongside the Trust, is non-commercial providing the perfect broadcast platform for airing Trust programming. The Trust is always open to suggestions for educational films, but like all charities it relies on donations to fund its work. You can make a donation by Paypal or by cheque to the Trusts address (visit: or call 01608 649311).  You can also become a member of the Trust for 25 per year which will help the Trust to develop its educational work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.