Mini Explorers Nursery in Little Holtby, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, won the award for Best Rural Education or Training Business at the 2019 Rural Business Awards. The awards ceremony was held at Chateau Impney in Worcestershire at the end of February.

The nursery, which opened its doors in 2012, defeated five other finalists in the running for the award.

Steph Pybus, the nursery owner, said to the Darlington and Stockton Times: “We won the regional round of the competition back in October. But we had no idea how we’d fare at the national finals as the category was so broad.

“We weren’t just up against other nursery schools, but rural training centres, agricultural assessment centres and a raft of outdoor learning facilities; we didn’t think our little Farm School stood a chance!

“The win is a testament to the quality of the education we’re providing at Mini Explorers, as well as the innovative approach we’ve taken to early years education. We’re the first Farm School nursery in the country, but we believe passionately in what we’re doing and in the importance of opening up the farming world to youngsters and babies.

“Our children learn to bottle feed lambs and calves, plant and pick their own fruit and vegetables, and they spend their days racing around our family farm in North Yorkshire.”

Mini Explorers Nursery is currently in the process of opening its own café, The Nest, where children will be able to share the produce they have grown with local communities.

Story by: Darlington and Stockton Times

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