Crowds flock to Barony Open Day

A sunny bright afternoon brought nearly 3000 visitors to 2017’s Open Day at Barony Campus.

The day was a great success allowing the public to get up close to everything that happens on site, and learn from Barony students who were on hand for demonstrations and to answer questions.

Two young boys eating food in a tractor shovel

These two boys had the right idea.

Shona Warwick, Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer at SRUC Barony, said:

“It’s great to see such large numbers turn out on the day. It’s all about letting people know how much goes on at the campus. We aim to give families and people of all ages a good and informative day out, and hopefully we did that.”

Girl riding on horse back

Around the grounds dog agility displays attracted big crowds and the pony rides had queues forming most of the day. 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.

Dog on an agility course

The animal care centre was kept busy, 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! Identifying bugs to win a microscope and connecting cables to get lights to work were two of the competitions running on the day from vet nursing and engineering departments. Engineering students took visitors on scenic drives round the boundaries of the campus on tractor and trailer rides.

Rural skills students sold plants that they had grown from seeds as part of their course work, and had a steady flow of customers throughout the afternoon.

The Open Day was also part of Open Farm Sunday. There were many animals on display including alpacas, cows, sheep, pigs, piglets, chickens and chicks.

David Birch, Lean Facilitator from Arla Foods said:

“Arla is a farmer-owned dairy company and the principal sponsor of Open Farm Sunday 2017. Once again it was a very successful day – good crowds, great organisation, even the weather played the game.
“It gave us a great opportunity to let everyone know about Arla, our products and our farmer owners. We all enjoyed the day, meeting the visitors, customers, and all the kids who wanted to drive our tanker away!”

Food samples on a table

Shona 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, rural skills and veterinary nursing.

“We would 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 we have to offer.”

Three children sitting in a meadow

The parking fees raised money for two local charities – the South of Scotland Wildlife Hospital which is situated on the Barony grounds, and Compass Brain Injury Specialists.

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