DUMFRIES House in Cumnock runs a fantastic education programme for primary schools which welcomes children from the local area to get hands-on, learning about food production.

During a visit to the estate to discuss the importance of procuring local produce in to primary schools, the education director on the estate, Jacqueline Farrell, explained how their ‘Class Roots’ project teaches pupils about seasonality and the importance of good soil health.

“We have around 2900 pupils come through our doors each year eager to learn where their food comes from, how to grow and prepare it, as well as the importance of nourishing the soil and themselves with food. We want the children to understand that if we don’t look after our soil then there will be no food.

Food, farming and horticulture tutor Arianne Knowles added: “We look at the life cycle of plants and how with seasonality there is less available at certain times of year - this allows us to discuss food miles and how we can look after the environment. The pupils love getting hands on in the soil and then seeing the whole process through to preparing and eating the food in our kitchen facility.”