Midlothian pupils get an insight into local farming industry

Whitburgh Farms manager Jim Nichol introduces the youngsters to some new arrivals.
Whitburgh Farms manager Jim Nichol introduces the youngsters to some new arrivals.

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust has been organising visits for school pupils to Whitburgh Farms, Pathhead, to find out what’s all going on the farm at this time of year.

Whitburgh Farms’ owner Alastair Salvesen makes conservation a high priority, and the school visit was an ideal opportunity to highlight awareness of conservation and to demonstrate to the pupils what can done on the farm to help nesting game birds and song birds against predation from foxes, rats, crows and magpies, all helping with the balance of nature.

The farm also takes great pride in maintaining hedges and putting in wildlife-friendly field margins to help nesting birds. The children were shown a field that had been newly sown to provide ground cover and feeding for birds in a few months time.

Sheena Stewart from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, said: “Last year was the first visit by Tynewater School and it is encouraging to see them coming back once again. Elphinstone School on the other hand joined us for the first time. Hopefully this can be an annual event in the school calendar as youngsters are clearly keen to learn about their environment and it helps the teachers with the lessons in the classroom too.”