A CHARITY which gives urban children a better understanding of the countryside is to benefit from Exeter Philharmonic Choir’s two carol concerts next week.

The retiring collection from ‘Carols in the Cathedral’ will go to Farms for City Children, which was founded in Devon over forty years ago by children’s author Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare.

The charity’s first farm was in the heart of the beautiful Devon countryside at Nethercott House, just outside the village of Iddesleigh. Farms for City Children now has three working farms which welcome more than 3,200 children every year from across the country for a life-changing week of ‘muck and magic’.

Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Farms for City Children, Margi Jervoise, who sings with Exeter Philharmonic Choir, said: ’We are thrilled that the Choir has decided to support our work with the retiring collection. Our work with city children is more important than ever, with evidence that almost a third of children right across the UK play outside for 30 minutes or less a day. On our farms they thrive in the outdoors with physical work and responsibilities. They go home more independent, having learnt how to work in a team and understanding where their food comes from.’

’None of this happens by magic. We have to raise £1m every year which helps to subsidise every child’s visits as well as maintaining our three historic farmsteads. The money given by generous concert goers will make a real difference.’

Exeter Philharmonic Choir will perform ‘Carols in the Cathedral’ on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 12 and 13 at 7.30pm. The concert in Exeter Cathedral is being sponsored by Clinton Devon Estates, Everys Solicitors and Renaissance Villages (Millbrook Retirement Village).