> RHET Countryside Day
RHET Countryside Day
RHET Countryside Day
The Countryside Day is held at Gilston Mains, Leven in June with over 300 Primary 6 pupils from schools in the Levenmouth area. The event takes the form of 12 sessions - Machinery, Sheep Shearing, Cereals, Vegetables, Potatoes, Forestry with a demonstration, Pond Dipping, Livestock, Butchery, Game keeping and Wildlife Crime.
The pupils are split into twelve groups and follow a route (about 1 mile) and have a stop at each session. The sessions are delivered by local volunteer farmers and outside agencies. Each group has a RHET volunteer with them all day. In total there are in the region of 45 volunteers involved with this event.
For some of the young people it is the first time that they have experienced a day in the countryside - even something as simple as having their lunch outdoors is a new experience. The pupils are prepared for this with a classroom speaker going into the schools to give them an insight into what they will be doing and seeing on the day and discussing the Health & Safety involved with this type of event.
The main purpose of this event is to get pupils out into the countryside, in many cases for the first time, to experience the use of their senses and learn about farming, where their food comes from and what goes on in the countryside. Many of the pupils who attend are from an area of deprivation and would not benefit from this experience if we did not pay for the buses to get them out. We address Health & safety on the farm by preparing a risk assessment which is sent to the schools beforehand and we provide the schools with an information booklet to prepare them for the day.
Not only are we educating the children about farming and the countryside we are also dealing with health and safety issues on farms. This event is in its 10th year with Gilston Estate hosting over 3000 pupils since the project began.
Edward Baxter from Gilston Estate said: "What goes on in the countryside is a mystery to most people. We are here but are seldom noticed. The Countryside day at Gilston is a wonderful opportunity for the Estate to show-case to children and their teachers the many things that are going on at Gilston both growing the food we eat and providing a refuge for the wild life we enjoy. They are unlikely to have the first hand knowledge of food and farming which we all take for granted and sharing that knowledge is a pleasure as well as a responsibility."
Carole Brunton, RHET Fife Project Co-ordinator said: "For 10 years,Edward Baxter and his staff have allowed RHET Fife to take over the estate for the day, this is not only extremely generous but it is invaluable"