Taking the Classroom to the Countryside!
The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) was established in 1999 as the educational charity of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS).
RHET reached over 70,000 children in the 2010/11 academic year, with a 20% rise in school farm visits across Scotland.
RHET aims to provide the opportunity for every child in Scotland to learn about food, farming and the countryside, and to create a wider understanding of the environmental, economic and social realities of rural Scotland.
This is achieved through a number of key activities:
Over the 2010-2011 academic year, RHET took more than 15,000 children onto farms and estates throughout Scotland with subjects covered including farming, forestry, horticulture, conservation, game-keeping, wildlife crime, birds of prey, pond and burn dipping.
In addition, over 27,500 children discussed food and farming topics with volunteer farmer speakers in the classroom.
Close to 23,000 children attended the Royal Highland Show, over the 4 days of the 2012 show with many participating in RHET Children’s Discovery Centre activities.
All RHET services and resources are free to schools and co-ordinated by a team of Project Co-ordinators and volunteer committees, representing each of the twelve RHET Countryside Initiatives throughout Scotland.
RHET’s aim is to ensure that Scotland is the best-informed nation in Europe in the field by giving every school pupil in Scotland the opportunity visit the outdoors and to learn about food, farming and the countryside. Project Co-ordinators work year-round to help deliver opportunities for pre-school, primary and secondary children to gain a better understanding of the Scottish countryside by providing reliable and balanced information on farming and rural issues and organising fully risk-assessed farm visits, classroom talks and a host of other competitions and events.
Our full aims and objectives are laid out in our 5-year Strategic Plan, which can be viewed online.
Funding for the valuable work carried out by Project Co-ordinators is provided by organisations such as The Scottish Govenrment Foof & Drink Industry Division. A £2 million funding grant for food education in Scotland was announced in March 2012 by Richard Lochhead. He wants every child to benefit from food education by 2016 and we here at RHET are one of the benefactors.
Other major funders include the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, VION, the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Tesco, Dobbies, DairyCo, The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs, and QMS. For a full list of RHET funders please CLICK HERE to visit the Funding page.
The Royal Highland Education Trust is a registered Scottish Charity number SC007492
Scottish Company Number SC123813