GALLERY: Shropshire riding high as Princess Anne gives royal approval

One of our most regular Royal visitors flew into the county to say a big ‘well done’ to all those involved with two projects which will help make dreams come true.

And the Princess Royal was clearly delighted when she began her tour at the Barrow 1618 Church of England Free School, just outside of Broseley and on the edge of Willey Park.

The big date was to celebrate 401 momentous years of continuous education and to launch the new Enhancing Education and Training Initiative.

Then it was off to the Riding for the Disabled Cavalier Centre, near Much Wenlock, to see the exciting new facilities now available for those needing and finding support in the horse riding world.

With her love and knowledge of horses, the Princess is always most interested in projects which can help transform life for so many. It was also a day of firsts for Shropshire.

The first Royal visit of the year, new Lord Lieutenant Anna Turner is the first woman to hold the office and host the visitors and a change in High Sheriffs with Dr Josh Dixey taking over the role.

Meanwhile, all the stops were pulled out to show us the very best of a very good school.

With its 92 pupils, Barrow 1618, a Church of England primary free school, has programmes which reach far beyond the classroom.

It has a Forest School – a wooded area, a wooded area across the road from the main school buildings – where it hosts a Campfire cooking project and Fairy Circle, the basis for literature and drama lessons. Headmaster Joe Leppington and his staff took great pride in showing it all off.

And the royal visitor was clearly impressed with its achievements which are helping produce a generation of happy, rounded children.

The Princess Royal was clearly delighted not only to receive a posy from William Troth and Isabella Davies, aged 10, but also to unveil the first plaque of the afternoon marking her visit to the school, along with launching the Barrow1618 Education and Training programme.

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