Bright sunshine brought out more than 3000 visitors to Sunday’s Open Day at the Barony Campus of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). The day was a roaring success allowing the public to get up close to everything that happens on site, 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 is now an anticipated fixture in the local calendar.
Shona Warwick, marketing and student recruitment officer at SRUC Barony, said: “Our Open Day has grown enormously since its origin many years ago as an information event for potential students.
“We were very pleased to welcome such a big crowd on such a lovely sunny day. It’s all about letting people know how much goes on at the Barony Campus. And if we can give families and people of all ages a good and informative day out, then we are happy.”
Around the campus grounds dog agility displays attracted big crowds and the pony rides were very popular. There was an impressive range of agricultural and forestry machinery on show, thanks to the excellent links the college has with the land-based industries.
The animal care centre was kept busy all afternoon, with students helping and educating visitors on a wide range of small animals. For more specialist interests, visitors could find out about bird ringing and – for the brave – how to handle a snake!
The forestry students demonstrated their skills in tree climbing and engineering students took visitors on scenic drives round the boundaries of the campus on tractor and trailer rides.
The Open Day was also part of Open Farm Sunday. There were farm animals on display from Barony, as well as Beltie Galloways, Gilmour Bank Alpacas and Whitehall Valais Blacknose sheep. Some visitors were even lucky enough to see a calf being born.
Scott Hamilton from Arla Foods said: “Arla is a farmer-owned dairy company and a principal sponsor of Open Farm Sunday 2016. We are delighted that Barony Campus had such a successful day.
“It’s a great opportunity for our farmer owners to showcase their farms, introduce the public to dairy farming and sample some of our delicious dairy products.”
Shona Warwick added: “The SRUC Barony open day is designed around the unique activities facilities and subjects that students use at the campus. Courses include agriculture, animal care, engineering, forestry and arboriculture and veterinary nursing.
“There is a lot on offer for anyone considering a career in the land-based industries. Potential students can still apply for the few remaining spaces available on our courses now via our website www.sruc.ac.uk/courses
“We would also like to thank all the external contributors who gave up their time and resources to make the event a success. So many businesses get involved in the Open Day and we are so grateful for all their help.
“Staff and students also put a lot of time into setting up and being here on the day in order to give visitors a taster of what SRUC and the Barony campus is all about.”
The parking fees raised money for the South of Scotland Wildlife Hospital, which is housed at the Barony.