As part of his prize as winner of the GWCT Art Competition in 2017 Prithvi Sudarshan of Longforgan Primary won a trip to a local farm for his whole class. This was organised by the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) and took place on Monday 4 June at Redmyre Farm, Invergowrie. The pupils were shown around by Brian Kaye, estate manager, and by Neil, the farm’s gamekeeper.
The squirrel hide was very popular as there were a few squirrels feeding alongside several chaffinches, and from there the class walked through pink campion, past hedgerows and small plantations to a field of oats where they learned about the crop and how it was looked after throughout the year. Next stop was a pond surrounded by flag iris, lesser spotted orchids and home to numerous ducks and a resident nesting swan.
A highlight of the morning was a ride in the enormous tractor trailer down to some wild bird cover which has been planted to feed birds through the winter and provide them with shelter from winter weather and predators. They also saw an owl nesting box which had been taken over by a kestrel. The youngsters were encouraged to listen to nearby bird life and also enjoyed seeing the young cattle.
Finally, everyone heard from Neil the gamekeeper about how and why he controls some of the predators on the farm and he showed them some of the traps he uses.
Iona Laing, Education and Events Officer, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust said: “The pupils enjoyed their day, despite the blanket of fog, and lots of good questions were asked about the farming year, the food chain, and what happens when numbers of one species increase too much and the effects this can have. The youngsters also put a lot of effort into the work sheets provided for them which will help remind them of their visit to Redmyre.”