Countryside Learning Scotland (CLS) was officially launched on Tuesday 29th April 2014 at Pitcarmick Estate, near Kirkmichael, Perthshire. As Tony Andrews (Trustee) explained: “Countryside Learning Scotland fills an important niche in the work of NGOs working in the rural sector. Since the Trust was formed in 2003, it has been a champion of reconnecting the people of Scotland with their countryside. The focus of CLS work is on encouraging young people to see the countryside as a place of work, relaxation and leisure for the whole of their lives. While a strong theme has always been to equip people to work in the countryside there is a growing feeling in the CLS team that adventure and lifestyle are equally important and that the range of opportunities offered by a rural-centred life is central to living in 21st century Scotland”.
The launch day was shared with 28 children from Kirkmichael Primary School who came along for Countryside Learning Scotland’s first estate day. Catherine Midgley, Education Manager for CLS, said: “Today’s launch represents an expansion of the charity. The pupils from Kirkmichael spent the day engaged in a number of active learning opportunities and also met the owners, gardener, housekeeper, gamekeeper, shepherdess, forester and estate manager. The experience has really opened the children’s eyes to what goes on in their local countryside and how it is managed”.