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Oatridge Dazzles as Open Day is a Sunny Success

Published Thursday, 26th May 2016 in Oatridge Campus news

Oatridge open Day combine

The sun shone over more than 2500 visitors who attended Sunday's open day at the Oatridge Campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

The day was a roaring success allowing the public to get up close to agriculture, and learn from SRUC students who were on hand for demonstrations and to answer questions.

Organisers were delighted to see such large numbers turn out on the day, reinforcing the fact that the annual event has continued to grow since its establishment four years ago and has quickly become an anticipated fixture in the local area.

Around the Campus grounds some visitors gathered to see the alpacas, donkeys and hold the lambs - while others appreciated the skills of students at sheep shearing.

The equine department organised pony rides that proved to be exceptionally popular at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre (SNEC) which is part of the Campus facilities.

Hannah Earle-Payne, Agriculture Team Leader at Oatridge, said: “We were very pleased to see so many families enjoying the activities organised by staff, students and external suppliers. The event showcased many of the subjects that are taught at the Campus, from agriculture to horticulture and horse care.”

Elsewhere there were tractor and trailer rides and the opportunity to sit on agricultural machinery, while the chance to get hands on and milk Charlotte the model cow under the guidance of the Royal Highland Education Trust was very much in demand and a popular highlight for many.

This year the programme also offered visitors the ability to experience vintage agriculture thanks to a pair of working Clydesdale horses demonstrating traditional farming methods. These majestic animals ploughed the field under the expert guidance of their handlers who were on hand to discuss working with heavy horses.

The picnic areas were bursting with families sampling burgers supplied by a well-known butcher or simply taking a rest before the next activity. The sheep dog display wowed the crowds, as did the demonstration of horses being shod by the local farrier who started his studies at Oatridge, helped by the current Forgework course students.

The horticulture team organised a plant sale - which included examples of the species used by students in their projects.

Hannah Earle-Payne added: “On the day course advice was at hand, and staff discussed with visitors details about engineering, countryside management courses and the other subjects featured in our prospectus.

“There is a lot on offer for anyone considering a career in the land-based industries. Potential students can still apply for courses for the few remaining spaces available in courses now via our website www.sruc.ac.uk.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our neighbours in Ecclesmachan, where the campus is based, for their support facilitating the traffic, and to all our visitors to the open day for giving us an opportunity to offer them a taster of what SRUC and the Oatridge campus are all about”.

Photo Caption: Up close with a combine harvester – Scott Campbell and his daughter are dwarfed by the giant machine at Oatridge Campus Open Day.

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