AROUND 1,200 primary five children from across the Borders are set to descend on the Springwood Park Showground in Kelso on Tuesday 16 May for the Border Union Agricultural Society’s tenth annual Schools Countryside Day.

The event, which is closed to the public, offers the region’s children a unique opportunity to learn about the environment, farming, food production and rural life. Over 50 different organisations will be taking part, offering a host of activities, demonstrations and displays. Pupils will be able to try their hands at spinning, felt, candle, flour and stick-making, milking and auctioneering and can see demonstrations of sheep-shearing.

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They will learn about healthy eating, food production, food miles and the journey from farm to fork and can compare the giant machinery, satellite mapping and new technologies used in farming today with the techniques of the past. The children will also see rare animal breeds, cattle, goats, rabbits, ponies and sheep.

Border Telegraph: Border Union Agricultural Society’s tenth annual Schools Countryside Day

Local efforts to conserve Golden Eagle, Red Squirrels, songbirds, salmon and other wildlife species in the region will be showcased and there will be a demonstration of the impact to the environment in flood prevention. Scientists will be on hand to explain the importance of nutrients in the soil as part of the event, which has responsible consumption and production as a key theme.

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The Fallago Environment Fund, which shares the benefits of the Fallago Rig windfarm in the Lammermuir Hills with projects across the Borders, is the main sponsor of the Schools Countryside Day. The Fund is supported by Roxburghe Estates, Federated Hermes and EDF Renewables.

Fund Chairman, Gareth Baird said; “The Schools Countryside Day is an exceptional initiative that offers the region’s children an engaging way to learn about the rural environment here in the Scottish Borders. From farm technology, animal welfare and food science to environmental management and wildlife preservation, there is much to discover and we’re delighted that the Fallago Environment Fund has been able to provide windfarm-generated funds to support this inspirational event.”

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Dan Withall, Executive Director of the Border Union Agricultural Society, said; ‘We’re extremely proud of our Schools Countryside Day and we hope that it inspires in each of the children an appreciation of the rural environment and demonstrates that the countryside offers an enormous number of rewarding career opportunities for them to consider. We’d like to thank the Fallago Environment Fund and all our funders, supporters and volunteers for helping us to create this impressive showcase of rural life in the Borders.”

The Border Union Schools Countryside Day is also supported by Scottish Borders Council, Charity Begins at Home, BASF, Kelso Farmers’ Market, Ford & Etal Estates, Graham’s Family Dairy and Sainsbury’s.