Borders land-based training takes a bow

Equine learner of the year Chelsea Scobbie and Alison Robertson, Borders College, with their trophies
Equine learner of the year Chelsea Scobbie and Alison Robertson, Borders College, with their trophies

Berwickshire was well represented at the annual Lantra Scotland Awards that recognise stand-out students and teachers in land-based and environmental courses.

Trainees Chelsea Scobbie from Duns, Kyle Bell from Hawick, Eyemouth High School and Alison Robertson of Borders College, were presented with Lantra Scotland’s awards by celebrity chef Nick Nairn at a gala dinner at Dunblane Hydro.

Chelsea, aged 19, scooped the Equine Learner of the Year Award 2015, Kyle Bell, a 15-year-old from Hawick, won the Rural Skills for Schools Pupil Award, Alison Robertson won the first ever Jean’s Jam Award, and Eyemouth High School won the Urban School Award.

Chelsea Scobbie recently completed her Modern Apprenticeship Level 3 in Horse Care at Borders College. She was working at local charity Stable Life that supports vulnerable young people aged between 10 and 18 suffering social, emotional or behavioural issues. She has also recently secured a six-month opportunity under the Community Job Fund and has been invited back to work in Portugal at Pinetrees Riding Centre, as part of the Leonardo da Vinci work placement scheme.

“I am so happy to win the Equine Learner of the Year Award and I’d like to thank Lantra Scotland, Borders College and my employers at Stable Life, along with everyone else who has helped me along the way. Getting to where I am now and winning this award is a dream come true!” said Chelsea.

Eyemouth High School scooped the Urban School Award for the excellent work they have done developing an outdoor area for rural skills courses, including horticulture and estate management. The area is also used to help students better understand biodiversity and food production principles as well as develop skills which can be used in land based employment.

Caroline Lathe, horticulture teacher at Eyemouth High School commented: “We are all really chuffed to win this award as developing our rural skills project is the culmination of a lot of hard work. We hope that the courses we offer, as well as the practical experiences provided through the outdoor area, will help our students to go on to pursue successful careers in the rural sector.”

New this year was the Jean’s Jam Award, won by Alison Robertson, course tutor for horse care at Borders College.