Scottish schoolchildren benefit from BASC Legacy Fund

Estates That Educate

BASC has contributed £15,000 of sponsorship from its Legacy Fund this year to ‘Estates that Educate’, the award-winning initiative run by Scotland’s Regional Moorland Groups.

The donation has helped ensure another year of exceptional success in educating and inspiring young people from across the Angus, Grampian and Tayside regions of Scotland.

Regional coordinator of the Angus Glens Moorland Group, Kirk Norbury, said: “This contribution has significantly bolstered the initiative, allowing it to expand its reach and impact over 2,000 children over the course of five days. These hands-on experiences provide young participants with valuable insights into sustainable land management and conservation practices.”

Regional coordinator of both the Grampian and Tayside moorland groups, Deirdre Falconer, said: “The programme allows students from primary and secondary schools to learn first-hand about life on a working sporting estate, from biodiversity and conservation to the array of different career opportunities that are available – jobs which contribute to sustaining rural communities. The project delivers a series of positive outdoor learning experiences direct from the boots on the ground themselves – the gamekeepers, shepherds, foresters and other rural workers.”

The series of events included activities such as the identification of Scottish wildlife and plants, which links to the science experiences and outcomes on biodiversity and connects children to Scotland’s natural heritage, and sustainable food workshops which allow children to learn more about where their food comes from, and how eating local, sustainable produce reduces food miles and benefits their carbon footprint.

“The activities were really fun, each giving us new information and letting us try new things” said a pupil from Towie Primary School.

Caitlin, a teacher at Craigie High School said: “The organisation of the whole day was extremely well managed, and each activity provided thought-provoking discussions and opportunities to learn. All the speakers were very knowledgeable in their areas and engaged with and answered the pupils’ questions very well. The experience pupils gained is so valuable to their learning and their life experiences, some pupils commented that they wish to pursue careers in the industry!”

Passing on the baton

In addition to the Estates That Educate events attended by more than 2,000 pupils, a further 500 children have visited the BASC Scotland stands at The Angus Show and the Royal Highland Show, where the collaborative partnership between BASC and Estates That Educate has continued to educate and inspire.

The highlight of the partnership will take place at this year’s Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace on Sunday 7 July, where last year’s Young Ambassador – Hayley MacDonald – will pass on the baton to 13-year-old Campbell Waddell. Hayley has had a great year building her knowledge and skills, strengthening her pathway towards a career as a shepherdess, while at the same time assisting at local events. Meanwhile young Campbell, who has participated in the programme since primary school, has been enthusiastically promoting it.

BASC Scotland director, Peter Clark, said: “Campbell has been an enthusiastic advocate for the initiative, inviting BASC to his local Scouts group and school, and assisting both BASC and his local Angus Glens Moorland Group at the Angus Show. His dedication and involvement have led to him becoming a new BASC Junior member and we look forward to him joining us at our Young Shot events throughout the year.”

To celebrate these achievements and the ongoing success of Estates That Educate, the presentation and reception will showcase the collaborative efforts between various organisations, including the Regional Moorland Groups, BASC, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), Countryside Learning Scotland, Royal Highland Education Trust, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Developing the Young Workforce, who have all been working together to strengthen education about the rural sector.