Agricultural society offers hands-on learning for more than 1,000 children

The Border Union Agricultural Society welcomed more than 1,200 young people to engage in hands-on learning about farming at its annual Schools Countryside Education Day in Kelso.

Designed to educated youngsters on all aspects of rural life including farm safety, livestock management, food production and more, the event has been running since 2013.

During the course of the event, the children watched demonstrations covering everything from butchery and shearing to haylage wrapping and honey collecting.

The Police were on-hand to offer farm and road safety advice, as well as introducing their incredibly popular mounted division.

BUAS events coordinator Marion Stevens said: “Having worked for the society for a number of years, it is great to see this event going from strength to strength.

“We must give credit to our wonderful directors, exhibitors and stewards who really pull together to make the day a success whether that be parking cars or providing demos.

It is a lot of work, but it is incredibly rewarding to see the children so engaged and inspired by everything they see.

One of the highlights of the day was the livestock on display – including a large sow and her piglets, rare breed sheep and their lambs, three adorable calves and a miniature Shetland pony.

The sheep shearers were also a huge draw, showing off their skills and managing to shear an entire flock of sheep in just a few hours.

Society chairman Neil Thomson added: “It really is a fantastic day for everyone involved particularly our many volunteers and brilliant exhibitors who have given up their time to put a lot of work into their stands.

“We are also extremely grateful to all our Funders and Sponsors including the Fallago Environment Fund; without all their support the event would not be feasible.”

The 2019 schools day may have just taken place, however, plans are already starting for the 2020 event.

Executive director Mags Clark said: “This is undoubtedly one of the highlights in the Society year. Listening to the buzz and seeing all the children’s faces as they enjoy a day of interactive learning is one of the most rewarding things we do. So much so we look forward to doing it all over again next year.”