FARMING was top of the curriculum last week as more than one thousand primary school pupils across the Borders gathered together.

Around 1,200 youngsters attended the Border Union Agricultural Society’s (BUAS) annual Countryside Day at Springwood Park in Kelso.

The event gives children the opportunity to learn about farming, food production and other aspects of rural life.

P5 children from across the region and took part in activities, ranging from auctioneering to milking and making butter, some of which the children and adults had never previously experienced.

Councillor Leagh Douglas, SBC’s executive member for education and lifelong learning, said: “This is a fabulous event where children are given the opportunity to have real hands-on experience of a variety of rural activities.

“There is a huge range of activities and demonstrations which the children can explore and perhaps think about as a future career.

“The event also highlights how digital technology now plays a significant role in farming, with some brilliant examples on display, whereby the children learnt about satellite mapping and using drones in surveying and spraying.

“Digital technology is something Scottish Borders Council have embedded in education through the Inspire Learning programme, and it’s a good opportunity for children to see how what they learn in the classroom plays out in the real world, and in the rural industry.”

Dan Withall, executive director with the Border Union Agricultural Society, added: “The School’s Countryside Day is now in its 11th year, and we are delighted to welcome another 1200 primary five children to Springwood Park, to experience the width and breadth of farming. We want this event to inspire young people, and to show them a variety of rural skills, past, present, and future, through the many demonstrations here today.

“By experiencing the different areas within the rural economy, we hope they will see there are valuable career opportunities and gain an understanding of where their food comes from and how it’s produced. We want this day to be a single point of inspiration, to show children what happens in farming and how that feeds into the economy in the Border region and beyond.

“We very much appreciate the great support from SBC helping with the sustainability of the event and collaboration with stakeholders.  It really is such a valuable day for our sponsors.  We have over 50 repeat exhibitors, some who have been with us from the very start – we are extremely grateful for their ongoing support.

“We look forward to seeing today’s primary fives in future farming careers and doing it all again in 2025.”

Also in attendance were staff and council members from Scottish Borders Council including David Robertson, chief executive; Lesley Munro, director of Education and Children’s Services; council leader Euan Jardine, and councillor Carol Hamilton, SBC’s executive member for Developing our Children and Young People.

Schools Countryside Day is respected as a significant regional example of best practise, made possible by the remarkable culmination of support from 300 volunteers and over 50 exhibitors who all give so much to make it work.

The event also benefits from local support from BASF, Charity Begins At Home (CBAH) Grahams Family Dairy, Kelso Farmers Market, Asda Foundation, Ford and Etal Estate, and Kelso RFC.