Inspections of farms gearing up for school visits are to begin this month as part of a national initiative to boost the number of educational trips to the countryside.
Warwickshire- based group Farming and Countryside Education has launched a new accreditation scheme to help tackle teachers' fears about visiting farms.
In the past four years, school visits to farms have dropped by 11 per cent, with 50,000 less pupils enjoying a trip to a farm, according to recent figures.
Despite a growing number of farmers wanting to open up their premises to children, teachers are increasing concerned about health and safety and are unaware of the educational benefits from such visits, according to FACE.
The accreditation scheme, which has already seen more than 200 farmers take part in training, will see inspectors carrying out farm visits later this month to ensure facilities are suitable.
Bill Graham, head of education at FACE and chairman of Access To Farms which helped develop the scheme, said: "As an industry we must start communicating effectively with children.
"We can only do this if teachers are confident in using farms and horticulture units to deliver aspects of the National Curriculum.
"When we asked teachers about visiting farms, they said they were concerned about health and safety, didn't know about the educational opportunities, and didn't know how to find a farm within easy travelling distance."
FACE teamed up with the Countryside Agency, Defra and DfES to develop the Countryside Visits Accreditation Scheme. More than 200 farmers have qualified so far through the Access to Farms partnership, with free courses available for more farmers this year.
The second part, where farm premises are endorsed for school visits, will begin shortly.
Farmers must have taken the free training course before an inspection can take place.
Once assessed, the farm is given a certificate, a logo to use, and a listing on the Teachernet website.
The scheme will lead to a national database of recognised approved farms, giving assurance to schools about visiting the countryside.
The first farmer to be inspected will be Ed Dee from Northamptonshire, who will be visited on May
16. He said he was excited about the project and added: " More schools are interested in coming to the farm now I've been through the training because they have confidence that I understand their needs and that it will be safe."