The Discovery Zone is the hub for interactive learning at the Royal Norfolk Show, marrying food, farming and the countryside with science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

Many of our young people are disconnected from where their food comes from. In collaboration with the Food and Farming Discovery Trust, the Discovery Zone provides a unique opportunity for students to learn about local farming.

A range of activities will teach young people about agriculture to promote healthy eating, including showcasing the variety of produce grown in our beautiful county and opening discussions about seasonality.

Eastern Daily Press: The theme of the Discovery Zone for 2023 is Norfolk fruit and vegThe theme of the Discovery Zone for 2023 is Norfolk fruit and veg (Image: Phil Culley / Thornage Hall)


This year, a new trail will demonstrate locally-grown fruit and vegetables to encourage healthy eating.

It will begin with a strawberry-lined polytunnel for visitors to walk through. With help from Place UK, East Coast Growers and Tompsett Growers, planters containing salad leaves, carrots, celery, onions and raspberries will allow children to see how they grow, while learning about pests and sustainability.

There will also be the opportunity to see the equipment and machinery used on farms such as trickle irrigation for watering, insect netting to reduce the need for pesticides and a harvester to demonstrate the scale of farming to visitors.

Children will even be able to create fruit kebabs at the end of the trail, getting them to think about fun ways to eat healthily. Primary and secondary schools will also be shown how to link up with farms and food producers to learn more about what is happening in their local area with the On The Map Project.


Thornage Hall is an independent charity located in north Norfolk that provides supported living, learning and working for adults with learning disabilities.

Its 70-acre biodynamic farm is home to a herd of red poll cattle, alpacas and laying hens, while its market garden provides the local community with a wide range of fruit and vegetables. At the show, Thornage Hall will showcase some of the finest produce from its farm.

The team will demonstrate how they grow with potted trees to replicate their orchard, discuss fruit growing, explore the importance of healthy soil with a wormery and even show you how to cook. Visitors will be given the opportunity to stir up some special biodynamic preparations, learn about the different tools used on the farm, and find out about what kind of wildlife is attracted to Thornage Hall.

“Come and find out about what biodynamic farming is and what makes it different to other types of farming,” says farm manager Phil Culley.

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The Papillon Project is an educational charity that promotes sustainable living and environmental awareness for young people. It works with more than 30 schools in Norfolk to develop and maintain allotments, enabling students to get involved in growing. The Papillon Project will display items to demonstrate innovative ways to upcycle different things for use in allotments, with students and teachers on hand to discuss their work.

“We are really looking forward to returning to the Royal Norfolk Show this year and being part of the amazing Discovery Zone!” says founder Matt Willer.

“Our unique upcycled display will highlight how incredibly important it is for young people to grow their own food.”

Like last year, The Papillon Project will offer engaging presentations to inspire young people to cultivate their own produce, including practical demonstrations with their famous rope pump.

“We look forward to meeting new people and making new friends!” Matt adds.

For more information, visit

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich Science Festival producer Claire Mutimer Norwich Science Festival producer Claire Mutimer (Image: Claire Mutimer)


Coordinated by Norwich Science Festival, this popular show highlight will contain a variety of interactive and exciting activities for children to take part in, as scientists and researchers explain their work in fun and engaging ways.

“We’re delighted to be returning to the Royal Norfolk Show and bringing more hands-on experiments and illuminating interactions to school groups and families,” says Norwich Science Festival producer Claire Mutimer. “We’ll be joined by our partners from Norwich Research Park and the wider STEMM community to offer science fun in the Discovery Zone.”

Children will have the chance to meet and chat with members of the science community, including those from John Innes Centre, Norfolk and Norwich Science Association, The Little Story Telling Company and Norfolk Clinical Research Facility.

Volunteer sixth form students will also act as show ambassadors to help schools with any questions and point them to areas of interest.

“You may even get to see the Norwich Science Festival team dressed as strawberries!” says Claire.

For more information, visit