Over 1,200 Borders schoolchildren descended on Kelso’s Springwood Park on Tuesday for the Border Union Agricultural Society’s (BUAS) successful Schools Countryside Day.
New exhibitors this year included Ahlstrom from Chirnside, the National Mining Museum, Flodden 1513’s Ecomuseum and the Scottish Government’s Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).
BUAS secretary Ron Wilson said: “The Border Union is absolutely delighted with the day. It was a fantastic day of education by fun.”
The P5 schoolchildren from over 60 schools saw indoor and outdoor exhibits and demonstrations including collies working sheep, Eriskay ponies, old and new farm machinery, pets, shoeing, shearing, wildlife information, felling information, auctioneering, animals including sheep, goats, pigs and fowl, and they had the chance to ‘milk’ a model cow.
Mr Wilson added: “The children and teachers had the opportunity to see all and everything that grows in the countryside, the produce used for our food and the animals that are reared and others that live in the wild on the land and in the water.
“There were also spinners, felters, stick making, bee keeping and many other country crafts on display including a five metre by four metre map of the River Tweed from its rising at Tweedswell with its meandering journey to the sea at Berwick. Many of the “exhibitions” were hands on and “touchy feely” and every child would go home having learned something: what lurks in the water; how paper is made from a tree; butter is made from cream; how sausages and haggis are made, with demonstrations; how seeds grow; and all manner of other wonders of nature.
“This day could not happen without the exhibitors’ huge effort and all the extremely hard work of our Border Union directors and staff and over one hundred volunteers including immense contributions from the Border Rotary Clubs, RBS and Royal Highland Education Trust and the support of our major sponsors, National Farmers Union Centenary Trust, and many other sponsors including Duns-based Greenvale AP, Kelso’s Charity Begins at Home, SBC, The Co-operative, CaseIH, Agrii and Ahlstrom Chirnside.”
Duns Primary School parent helper, Sarah Watson said: “They’re having a fantastic time. It’s really interesting and I’m learning things I didn’t know.”
For the Flodden 1513 ecomuseum, education assistant Megan Pearson said the museum attended this year because part of their remit is to educate about the battle on both sides of the Border. And their stand allowed children to track where Scottish horses taken by the English had gone.