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Case Studies > Hands-On Learning

Murton Trust


Case Study Hands-On Learning Murton Trust www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Hands-On Learning Murton Trust is a special place. These days it’s a thriving nature reserve, visitor farm and tearoom, but the 100 acre site near Forfar in Angus was formerly a quarry until the Trust was established to restore and enhance the land.

With both a strong educational and environmental purpose, Murton’s mission is to provide a unique environment in which children, young people and adults can learn and develop skills for life. The Trust specifically targets those young people who are at risk of social and employment exclusion due to poor school achievement.

Working with secondary schools in Angus and Dundee, Murton provides SQA accredited vocational training for young people aged 14-19 who are unable to cope with mainstream education. Pupils, who are at risk of leaving school with no qualifications, are encouraged through hands-on learning. Murton gives them the chance to gain valuable life and land-based skills that simply cannot be learned in a classroom environment.

Over 100 different students attend Murton each year, learning such diverse skills as estate maintenance, animal husbandry and soft landscaping - together with essential personal development and employability skills.

Where young people have left school with no positive direction, work experience and short courses are designed to prepare them for a college course or employment. The courses which run from 1-12 days allow students to work towards SQA qualifications.
The young people who attend Murton are responsible for all aspects of the running the farm, nature reserve and tearoom.
From the care of birds and animals to maintaining paths and hedgerows, all maintenance and upkeep of the site is part of the daily routine and ensure young people gain real, practical skills. The tearoom provides work experience in both catering and front-of-house hospitality. All young people work as part of the staff team and learn in a real working environment.

On its journey, Murton has built increasingly strong links with the local community and the number of young people volunteering has steadily increased. The Trust helps young people achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Award or work toward the nationally recognised Saltire Awards.

For the younger members of the community Murton runs a weekly Outdoor Tots group which encourages tots and their guardians to play outdoors and enjoy nature, whatever the weather.

Murton is a quite unique learning environment - engaging with children, young people and adults alike. Transforming an old quarry site, Murton is now transforming lives and providing invaluable opportunities to gain real-life skills and engage with nature and the wider community.
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