CHILDREN were given their first experience of the great outdoors by the Duke of Westminster.

In his role as president of educational charity The Country Trust, the Duke spent the day with Year 4 children from Brynteg CP School in Wrexham, helping them learn about natural habitats and conservation.

During the visit, the children discovered forestry and its value to wildlife under the guidance of the Eaton Forestry and Conservation Team. The visit was designed to support their school curriculum, in particular the class' interest in 'the magic and mystery of the forest.'

As a group, they learned how people can interact sustainably with the environment, how to measure a tree's age and height, the importance of new planting sites and the ecology and biology of woodland.

The Eaton Estate foresters are responsible for the ongoing care and management of about 485 Hectares woodlands. All of the forestry on the Eaton estate is managed sustainably with more than 100,000 trees planted last year.

The Duke of Westminster said: "Hands-on activities and contact with the countryside can bring rich experiences to children, which are vital to their self-esteem and wellbeing.

"Through my work with the Country Trust I want to help give children the opportunity to transform their understanding of the countryside and learn how to care about their own and the wider environment.

"Crucially the aim is for the children to have fun and build happy memories, which is what I hope we have enabled during this visit to Eaton."

The Country Trust brings food, farming and the countryside to life for thousands of children each year. As president, The Duke works closely with the organisation in supporting its vision to develop an understanding of the countryside through quality learning experiences to every child experiencing disadvantage or disability. Just under a third of the pupils from Brynteg School are eligible for free school meals.

Jill Attenborough, chief executive of the Country Trust, added: "We're delighted to bring children to the Duke of Westminster's Estate.

"It's such a pleasure to see the Duke and his staff share their knowledge and enthusiasm with these children directly, and to see the genuine passion the Duke has, as president of our charity, for bringing the working countryside to life for young people across the country."

The Duke has a keen interest in addressing poverty of opportunities for children and providing life experiences that will help build their confidence as they grow. Through the leadership of his family Foundation - the Westminster Foundation - he aims to help to create many other opportunities for children and young people that will allow them to navigate the challenges of life in both urban and rural environments.

The Duke's family has been welcoming children on Country Trust visits to Eaton in Cheshire, which have included visits to Grosvenor Farms (a major dairy farm), and Abbeystead in Lancashire, for more than 25 years. The charity has also benefitted from long standing support from the Westminster Foundation, which represents the philanthropic activities of the Grosvenor family.