The future of a popular day out for Borders youngsters has been secured for another three years, thanks to a £28,500 grant.
More than 1,000 youngsters enjoy heading to Kelso’s Springwood Park every year for the Border Union Agricultural Society’s annual schools countryside day, and, thanks to that handout from the Fallago Environment Fund, they’ll be able to carry on doing so until at least 2023.
The fund – set up by Roxburghe Estates, EDF Renewables and Hermes Investment Management and run by the Tweed Forum to distribute community benefit cash generated by the 48-turbine Fallago Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills – is the main sponsor of the event, first held in 2013.
The day out – to be held for the seventh time on Tuesday, May 21 – gathers together around 1,200 primary-five pupils from 60-plus schools across the region to teach them about farming, food production and rural life.
Fund spokesman Guy Innes-ker, the 10th Duke of Roxburghe, said: “The Border Union’s schools countryside day is a wonderful event which educates the region’s children about their rural environment, and how it is managed and protected, in an engaging way.
“As well as an appreciation of country life, they also learn about the huge number of diverse and rewarding careers that the countryside offers and which we hope will inspire them to stay, live and work in the region.
“We’re delighted to be able to support the running of this important event.”
Agricultural society executive director Mags Clark added: “The schools countryside day is tremendously important to us, and we know that it is enjoyed and greatly valued by the pupils and teachers who participate each year.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Fallago Environment Fund for its support.”
The event is also funded by Agrii, Bayer CropScience, BSW Timber, Charity Begins at Home, the Ford and Etal Estate, George Marshall Tractors and Case IH, Greenvale AP, Kelso farmers’ market, Sainsbury’s and Scottish Borders Council.
Fallago Environment Fund grant applications are assessed twice yearly, with application deadlines of September 1 and March 1. Further information can be found at www.tweedforum.org/fallago or by calling the forum on 01896 849723.