The Importance of an Early Education into Wild Meat


As the news that Eat Wild has collaborated with Tops Nurseries to get wild meat on their menu has circulated around mainstream and regional press in print, online, and broadcast channels, we are taking stock and reflecting on the importance of giving children an early education into the world of wild meat. 

Last year, Eat Wild introduced thousands of children to wild meat. At the Glendale Children’s Education Day in Northumberland alone, 1,500 6-11 year-olds were offered the opportunity to learn about British game and the benefits surrounding its consumption. The children were able to observe venison butchery and then taste it alongside partridge. Interactive drawings and photos were used to show the children what they were eating and the nutritional benefits of the meat. Almost all attendees had never heard of game before and yet the Eat Wild stand handed out close to 4,000 samples of meat. 

Later in the year, Eat Wild worked with Countryside Learning, an organisation which run free events for schools to get out into the countryside and learn about all things outdoors. At Ledstone Estate in Castleford, our Eat Wild ambassador Alex Pendlebury spent the day educating children from 6 different schools, circa 200 children in total, about wild meat and its multiple benefits. 

Alex ran a stand where the children, aged 7-8, learnt what game meat was and why it is so healthy. Nearly all of the children tried the pheasant nuggets on offer, and most of them came back for more. One school even emailed Countryside Learning after the event and said they were going to try and get pheasant on their school menu.

Alex was also at the forefront of leading a sausage-making workshop at the Royal Cheshire Show (20th-21st June 2023), where the team demonstrated methods and top tips to a crowd of children who engaged in first-hand experiences of making them themselves, holding meter-long stretches of sausages, turning them and cutting them. The pheasant and pork sausages were then cooked up and handed out as tasters, which the children thoroughly enjoyed. Through their effective teaching, Alex’s stand won the award for “Best Education”.

The Nantwich Show was yet another successful event where Alex led immersive game-cookery demonstrations. With a background as a Countryside Ranger, then chef, and now teacher, Alex shared his extensive knowledge of wild meat on stage, engaging with new audiences. 

Educating the next generation about the benefits of wild game is integral to the future of its market. It opens the door to the countryside and all it has to offer, giving nutritional information and importantly, freedom of choice for people to enjoy a food source that is both sustainable and the production of which delivers a wealth of economic, social and environmental benefits.

In those early years in particular, they are curious, eager to learn, and open-minded. They approach the food without prejudice or judgement and enjoy it for what it is. 

Eat Wild Ambassador, Alex Pendlebury said

“I feel proud to have been involved in such an amazing event at Ledstone, and to have taken the time to teach the younger generation about game. They took to it with enthusiasm and excitement, giving us hope for the future.”