The 8th year of Kinnordy Estate Days got underway today (21 May 2014) with 119 children from the Carnoustie cluster schools making their way to Kinnordy Estate near Kirriemuir for a fun but educational day learning all about the work of a Scottish Estate.
The pupils, from Burnside, Monikie, Newbigging and Woodlands Primaries enjoyed a busy day learning about gamekeeping, forestry work, farming, ecology and woodlands.
This was a warm up for the 2nd day of the event, held at the Estate by kind permission of Lord Lyell, when 200 Dundee pupils are set to arrive for a similar experience. Estate Factor Deirdre Stewart of CKD Galbraith commented “We really welcome the school children to Kinnordy to support and enrich their learning of a working farm and traditional estate. I hope each child leaves with a better understanding of what the countryside provides, and the work of farmers, gamekeepers and foresters.”
Dundee schools taking part in the day are from Ballumbie, Blackness St Luke’s and St Matthew’s, St Vincent’s, Ancrum and Den’s Road Primaries. As always probably the most popular participants are Barry the Gamekeeper’s with his gundog display and the close encounter with his ferrets, but the wee beasties fished out of Kinnordy Loch at the pond dipping set are also very popular.
The two day event was again made possible by financial support from the Nineveh Trust, which meant that RHET ACI was able to make it completely free for the schools that took part, even paying for the buses that transported them to the event.
For some of the children it was their first real experience of the Angus countryside. Bruce Christie, Chairman of RHET ACI said “We are very grateful to Lord Lyell for letting us come to his Estate again and for the involvement of several of his staff in the event. Schools always enjoy these days while at the same time getting a great educational experience.”
Carol Littlewood, RHET ACI’s Project Coordinator stressed her thanks to all the volunteers who had given up their time to run the sets and steward the pupils around the Estate. Carol said “As with all RHET events we depend on our volunteers and partner organisations to give up their time for us and we couldn’t do it without them!”
Angus Council staff support the event, running the pond dipping and with Fred Connacher, their Tree Officer, teaching the children how trees grow, whilst Tillhill Forestry staff focus on the types of trees grown on the Estate and the job of a forester. A new set this year sees a demonstration of woodcutting, with a traditional hand saw by John Spittal and log pulling by a tractor driven Kinnordy Estate worker Andy.
RHET ACI hopes that the pupils go away from the day having had a great time, but also understanding and thinking a bit more about where their food and wood products comes from and how farming and the environment work together.