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ALMOST 200 students from Earlston High School travelled to Springwood Hall on the 18th and 19th of November to learn about food, farming and agriculture at The Royal Highland Education Trust’s Food and Farming Days in the Scottish Borders.

The pupils were split into six groups before moving around the six learning stations situated inside the main hall and outside space. These learning stations were run by local volunteers and farmers from local agri-businesses.

Topics covered included bread making, precision farming equipment and technologies, soil studies, flood and river management, genetics and veterinary services and rural careers.

Lesley Mason, the Project Coordinator for the Scottish Borders Countryside Initiative (SBCI), was responsible for organising the day as well as making sure it ran smoothly and to schedule. Newly appointed Marianne Hodge was also on-hand to assist.

Both Lesley and Marianne also organise classroom talks and farm visits for the entire Scottish Borders area. These are free to all primary and secondary schools and also includes assistance with transportation costs wherever possible.

Audrey Robson, a teacher at Earlston High School, who led the school’s visits on both days commented, “This was a first class event and we as a school have been extremely fortunate to experience the workshops on offer. Lesley Mason and her staff/volunteers were superb on the day and Lesley, in particular was extremely helpful and flexible towards working with the school in getting the best out of the event for all involved.”

The Food and Farming Day was provided by RHET SBCI in association with SRUC, Dick Vet, Borders College and Tweed Forum. The Scottish Government has provided significant funding for these events since 2010. The Border Union Agricultural Society also proudly sponsored the event.

Food and Farming Days are typically annual events that are organised throughout the academic year by RHET Project Coordinators in each of the 12 Countryside Initiatives across Scotland. These events give pupils the opportunity to learn first-hand from agricultural and farming experts and to participate in various educational activities on the day.