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Case Studies > Food & Farming

Dalkeith Country Estate

Case Study Food & Farming Dalkeith Country Estate
Case Study Food & Farming Over 200 primary school children from Midlothian attended a Food and Farming event organised by educational charity, the Royal Highland Education Trust, in conjunction with the Midlothian Estates Group and Scottish Land & Estates.

The school children gathered at Dalkeith Country Park for the initiative which aimed to connect future consumers with primary food producers with the Midlothian Estate Group providing volunteers & equipment for the forestry, cereal and livestock sessions.

The outdoor learning experience, which was kindly funded by Clydesdale Bank and The Crown Estate, was very much a hands on educational activity in line with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.

From milking a cow to climbing tractors, the primary classes got a broad understanding of what food production takes place on modern farms and how this connects with their lives, seeing the product that the farmer produces & then linking this to the product that arrives of their tables. The emphasis on fun created a very good atmosphere over the two days, with volunteers & children enjoying themselves alike.

Tucking in was also on the menu as SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture) introduced pupils to the science of fruit and veg production with a blind tasting session.

Alongside all of these sessions, sheep were also topic of discussion. The children were able to see and touch ewes with lambs at foot and tups. This aided the direct connection between those sheep & the meat on the children’s plate. They also learnt the importance of buying Scotch Lamb, Electronic Identification and the difference in breeds. The Haddington Spinners completed the cycle by showing pupils what the wool can be turned into and how this is done.

Karen Valentine RHET Lothian coordinator explains: “days like these are a great opportunity for children to learn about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Learning about the care, attention and hard work that goes into quality Scottish produce will give them a greater appreciation of the food they eat.”

Judith Hogg Regional Manager of Scottish Land & Estates added “The Midlothian Estates Group have put a great deal of time and effort into these two days, supplying sheep, crops & tractors for the various stations for the children. It was lovely to see the interaction with the children as they learnt about a broad range of farming techniques and ultimately where their food comes from.
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