PUPILS from three primary schools in Perthshire and Fife learnt all about game management and work on a sporting estate when they took part in a new initiative by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) this month.
Two classes from St Columba’s and Ceres primary schools in Fife visited Teasses Estate on 2 November when Alex Towns of GWCT, Carole Brunton, Project Co-ordinator for RHET in Fife and Kenny Horne, the estate’s headkeeper, hosted the educational event. The children enjoyed a tractor and trailer ride around the estate before enjoying a game food tasting session, courtesy of Willie Balfour, Elmwood College. A discussion on predator control and species identification followed.
The following Thursday, primary six pupils from Moncrieffe Primary School in Perth joined Alex, Anna Dickinson, Project Co-ordinator for RHET in Perthshire and Brian Kaye, manager of Culfargie Estate for a day in Perthshire. The children took a tour around Culfargie to discover the importance of maintaining a balance in nature and discussed issues such as grey squirrel trapping and crow control. This visit encompassed a walk through Tarrylaw Farm and tractor and trailer ride onto the heather moor to take in the magnificent views and learn about grouse and grazing.
The events entitled ‘Beyond the Farm Gate’ are aimed at increasing the pupils’ knowledge of game and wildlife management and sporting estates and are augmented with class-based study.
“Through these events, the GWCT and RHET are providing a holistic approach to rural education and we have been fortunate to work with estates like Teasses and Culfargie who are very keen encourage an understanding of countryside issues amongst school children,” said Katrina Candy, head of PR and education (GWCT Scotland).
“We already work with RHET in providing workshops at the Royal Highland Show and our own Scottish Game Fair and we are very keen to progress this partnership to the benefit of Scotland’s school children.
“The majority of Scotland’s countryside is managed to some extent and it is important for the public to understand this and appreciate how it is achieved.
”The GWCT has been very fortunate to receive generous sponsorship for our educational work and thanks to Angle Park Sand & Gravel Co. Ltd who sponsored the transport for the Fife visit.”