Insight into workings of a country estate

Fred Connacher tells some of the children about how trees grow.
Fred Connacher tells some of the children about how trees grow.

School pupils from across Angus and Dundee have been given an insight into life on a working estate to learn what it takes to keep it running.

Kinnordy Estate near Kirriemuir opened its doors for two days last week and ran workshops and classes on subjects as diverse as gamekeeping, forestry, farming, ecology and woodlands and for some youngsters it was their first experience of the countryside.

Deirdre Stewart, estate factor, said: “We really welcome the schoolchildren to Kinnordy to support and enrich their learning of a working farm and traditional estate.

“I hope each child leaves with a better understanding of what the countryside provides and the work of farmers, gamekeepers and foresters.”

The free events were organised by the Royal Highland Education Trust Angus Countryside Initiative (RHET ACI) supported, with funding from the Nineveh Trust and it is the eighth year such an event has been held.

Bruce Christie, RHET ACI chairman, said: “We are very grateful to Lord Lyell for letting us come to his estate again and for the involvement of several of his staff in the event.

“Schools always enjoy these days while at the same time getting a great education experience.”

Angus Council staff also supported the event by holding a pond dipping session while tree officer Fred Connacher taught the youngsters about how trees grow.

Staff from Tillhill Forestry also covered what types of trees are grown on the estate as well as the job of a forester while John Spittal demonstrated woodcutting with a traditional handsaw.

Other events included a gundog display and a demonstration of log-pulling with a tractor.

Carol Littlewood, RHET ACI’s project co-ordinator, also thanked the team of volunteers who had given up their time to run the event.

She said: “As with all RHET events, we depend on our volunteers and partner organisations to give up their time for us and we couldn’t do it without them.”

She also said that she hoped the pupils would think more about where their food and wood products come from and how farming and the environment work together.

Further details about RHET Angus can be found online at