TO CELEBRATE 20 years of taking the ‘classroom to the countryside’, the Royal Highland Education Trust will travel 600 miles in a Massey Ferguson tractor this June, visiting 12 Scottish schools on a tour that will culminate in a grand finale at the Royal Highland Show.

RHET started educating the children of Scotland in 1999, teaching them where food comes from and making them more aware of the environment around them. It now takes more than 16,500 children onto farms and estates throughout Scotland every academic year as well as supplying classroom speakers. All this work is carried out by volunteers at an estimated value of £1.2million.

RHET board chairman George Lawrie will be undertaking the tractor tour in the week prior to the Royal Highland Show, starting off from the showground on the June 12 and finishing back at the showground on June 19. The planned route will cover around 600 miles with the aim of raising £10 for every mile travelled, yielding £6000 for the charity.

Mr Lawrie said: “I will be visiting two schools per day spending around two hours at each school. These visits will be about more than just a tractor as each individual Countryside Initiative will be bringing in volunteers to talk about farming in their area."

Supporting the trip, farm machinery dealer the Hamilton Ross Group have supplied RHET with a Massey Ferguson tractor from their Reekie Ltd Perth depot. General Manager, Sam Mercer said: “We are delighted to support this fantastic fundraising initiative. RHET provide young people with an invaluable understanding and enthusiasm for Scottish agriculture and the countryside, something which is crucial to the future of our industry.”

In addition, Allison Enterprises and the Binn Group, both of Glenfarg, are supplying a trailer that will be used to carry a Highland cow sculpture made from recycled farm metal and crafted by Kev Paxton of ArtFe, Ratho. ArtFe has agreed to donate this eyecatching piece of agricultural art to RHET – and it could be yours when it goes under the hammer at a gala dinner later on in the year.

George added: “We are indebted to the generosity of these companies allowing us to undertake this tour. Please follow our Facebook page to hear when other companies sign up their support. You can also check out our JustGiving page to pledge your support and help us with the challenge of raising £10 for every mile travelled.”