Our History

In February 2014 SCAET changed its name to Countryside Learning Scotland. The commitment to developing existing programmes remains and this name signals the start of a stage of growth and development.

Previously known as The Scottish Countryside Alliance Educational Trust, (SCAET), the organisation was established in 2003 to address the need to reconnect Scotland with the countryside. It is a charitable company limited by guarantee.

The original vision was for a viable and sustainable future for Scotland’s countryside through improving young people’s awareness and knowledge of, and access to, our rural areas and to promote an informed understanding of the value of the countryside to lifelong health, quality of life and social well-being. This vision continues to be held and Countryside Learning Scotland aim to:

  • Improve the national awareness of and engagement with the countryside, and
  • Improve people’s quality of life through increasing their access to and use of the countryside

Our purpose is to research, promote, organise, establish and operate a range of services and delivery mechanisms which:

  • Increase wider understanding of the countryside
  • Give people the information and practical experiences they need to make positive choices in order to improve their lives in ways that directly relate to the countryside.
  • Offer opportunities to learn more about the countryside for everyone, including people who already have access to the countryside, and to those who do not.

The Trust has had numerous past successes:

  • We set up Scottish Food Fortnight in 2003, and managed it for 6 years before handing it over in 2009 to Scotland Food and Drink, the government-backed industry body set up to promote Scotland’s food and drink.
  • Over a 3 year period, we invested over £150,000 in the development of angling, through the Scottish National Angling Programme,  In 2009 it handed it over to SportScotland who have invested in the ‘One Plan’ for angling.
  • In 2009 we ran the first Countryside Day for 1,000 13-14 year olds at Glamis Castle, numerous other events have followed at locations such as Braemar, Kirkmichael and Cumbernauld.
  • The Tam Tod Fund Trophy is awarded annually to a young person who has excelled in country sports.
  • We commissioned and continue to distribute The Keeper DVD,  a game keeping resource for primary schools.

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