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A new classroom trailer is gearing up to take farming, food and countryside education to Ayrshire and Arran youngsters.
Royal Highland Education Trust’s (RHET) Ayrshire and Arran Countryside Initiative (AACI) is making moves to get back to face-to-face activities as pandemic restrictions begin to ease.
During lockdown, the charity delivered a variety of digital and hands-on resources.
RHET has 12 countryside initiatives across Scotland, each run by a committee of volunteers with activities organised by an area project co-ordinator. Across Arran, AACI will help arrange farm visits, classroom speakers, resources, projects and events.
The charity has already allowed Arran school children to visit farms to see up close where their food comes from and to meet the farmers who grow and produce it. Volunteers have also delivered classroom talks on rural subjects and have just recently received funding for a countryside classroom on wheels trailer to take small animals and demonstrations to schools.
Recently elected chairwoman of the charity Christine Cuthbertson said: ‘We are so excited about getting back out on farms. We have a great team of volunteer farm hosts who are passionate about what they do and are keen to help children learn about their food and how it is produced and how farmers work with and look after the countryside.
‘The pandemic has caused children to miss out on so much and put a spotlight on local food production and nutrition, along with a growing appetite for outdoor and hands on learning and we are geared up to deliver. The look on youngster’s faces when they see a calf or big tractor for the first time is magical.’
Schools and farms can get involved by emailing project co-ordinator Wendy Lawrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the RHET website at www.rhet.org.uk.
Newly-elected office bearers of AACI, left to right, Wallace Currie, vice chairman, Jan Ireland, treasurer, Christine Cuthbertson, chairwoman, and Elaine Bryson, secretary. No_B33RHET01