Successful Projects

RHET Scottish Borders

Year Completed: 
2016
I am writing this report after two hugely successful days at Longformacus Estate. With the help of the grant Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund so kindly gave RHET Scottish Borders we were able to educate over 180 children during the two day event!
 
Mr Charles approached RHET to help arrange an event with Duns Primary School which soon turned into us suggesting with our help he could have a much larger event.  Therefore on Monday 6th June we had out onto the Estate the whole of S2 from Berwickshire High School in Duns around 125 children. On Tuesday 7th June both primary 6 classes from Duns Primary School came out for a farm tour.
Mr Charles and his three staff with our help and support came up with five sessions for the S2’s to undertake during the day. The year was split into 5 groups and they sent around 45minutes on each session. 
 
Sessions were as follows:
General Introduction – Estate Management
The owner of the Estate gave a brief back ground on the Estate and some information on Estate management.
 
Session 1 High Ground Management & use. 
In this session they discussed the management of the heather ground covering area such as heather burning and the importance of this land for the birds and other wildlife it supports. The gamekeeper went go into detail of his main roles and what his job entails. Discussions were be had about the working dogs used, breeds and uses.
 
Session 2 Low Ground Management & use
This session looked at the differences between high and low ground management. The gamekeepers went into details about the rearing of the birds and vermin control, including different traps and reasons for controlling different types of vermin. Woodland management was also discussed. Discussions were had about the working dogs used, breeds and uses.
 
Session 3 Farming on the Estate
They looked at the livestock on the farm, fields being rented out for sheep. The life cycle of the sheep and the care required. A clipping demonstration and foot trimming demonstration were under taken .The main machinery used in the farming enterprise was looked at.
 
Session 4 Estate Maintenance
The maintenance on a large estate was looked at covering a wide range of topics. Forestry, gardening, care of old buildings using the traditional skills and the use of up to date technology. A huge focus was on careers.
 
Session 5 River Life – Tweed Foundation
Tweed Foundation discussed the life of the river, using electro-fishing to show the species present and the care the river requires. Children got up close to the fish and learned about their life cycles.
The feedback from both staff and pupils was fantastic and very keen to undertake a similar event on an annual basis. The weather was very sunny on the day which helped hugely but there was concerns that if the weather had changed there was no indoor areas to carry on the sessions in. The village hall was used for lunches a short walk away but this would be too small for teaching.
 
On the second day we had two P6 classes out to the estate each for around two hours. During their time on the estate they were split into two groups and one half spent time with the Tweed Foundation and undertook a very similar session as the High School did but at a lower level. The other half of their time was spent having a farm walk where they saw the tools used to maintain the buildings and gardens on the Estate, they had a session on the sheep, care, usage etc. Then they discussed gamekeeping as a career covering all aspects and seeing the working dogs, traps and young birds. Again these visits were enjoyed hugely by staff and pupils and we hope to be able to arrange similar in the future.
 
RHET Scottish Borders is hugely appreciative for the grant funding supplied to us and without that support this event would have not be able to take place with the huge amount of man hours it takes to arrange visits like this, between communicating with the schools, volunteers, carrying out risk assessments, having pre visit to meet the teachers and show them around and evaluating the project at the end.
 
Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund was recognised as much as possible with your logo being on all the flyers and handouts. We have emailed a report to the Berwickshire News and hope this may be printed to further acknowledge all the support we have had.
 
Mr Charles is keen to have this event again in future which is this best news RHET Scottish Borders could ask for.
I

 

Berwickshire High School

Year Completed: 
2016
Berwickshire High School received funding In October 2016 towards replacing the equipment in the fitness suite. 
 
Dear Keith, (BWCF Chair)
 
I wish to convey my personal and sincere appreciation for the generosity of you and the Black Hill Windfarm.
 
Your heart felt contribution will continue to promote ambition in learning in general as well as promote health and well-being specifically and I think it is such a wonderful, value creative legacy to give to our local school and community.
 
The new equipment purchased through Origin Fitness allows students and staff to have greater variety in fitness methods and is designed towards improving and maintaining levels of personal fitness. The use of a ‘functional’ training rig will allow users to access the same high standard of equipment as used in private gyms with a shift in the focus of fitness to a much more practical full body workout.
 
Due to your generosity we also managed to purchase additional rig accessories including slam balls, sand bags, a boxing station, battle ropes and an adjustable pulley machine which allows users to work-out and exercise their muscles in a similar way to how our bodies function in everyday life.
The fitness suite also now benefits from two extra spin bikes and a leg press/calf raise resistance machine. The young people of Berwickshire High School are already benefitting from this wider array of exercise which the increased gym equipment allows.
 
I wish to take the opportunity to sincerely thank you. I really feel that your investment will inspire our young people and the community of Berwickshire in many ways, and I believe one cannot put a monetary value on giving such inspiration.
 
If you wish to visit our school, please do not hesitate to contact me. You are most welcome.
On behalf of Berwickshire High School and the local community I wish you all the best in your projects to come.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Scott Steele

 

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Border Water Rescue Team

Year Completed: 
2016
Rescue Sled
 
Following receipt of Grant funding for a Rescue Sled in June 2016, final research was concluded and WRS Limited, a company identified as a potential provider came to July training with a sled for the team to try before purchasing. 
 
The use of the Sled was reaffirmed at this training and the Trustees decided to raise a purchase order to complete the purchase (which was finalised at £2,176.80 incl bag and paddles).  The Rescue Sled was delivered to the team in the autumn 2016 and has formed part of the monthly training sessions to orientate our volunteers.  The Sled has been branded with BWRT name and also the Blackhill Wind Farm Logo on the inner tube. 
 
In early 2017, the Training Officer signed off members as competent for use and the Sled was then considered to be a part of our operational equipment.  
 
The sled is envisaged to be valuable in situations where we need to evacuate a casualty from a body of water.  Its’ design allows the sled to carry 2 rescuers and 1 casualty and considerably improves our ability to rescue casualties from swift water. 
 
The sled has been deployed recently as available safety equipment when we provided water rescue cover for local Common Ridings (cavalcade river crossings) and will continue to be an essential part of our kit going forward.  
 
We view this acquisition to be a key development in the team’s equipment and would like to add our thanks for your support.  As you know, we are a charitable organisation registered with Scottish Charity Regulator.   The team has 26 volunteer members.  We support the Emergency Services in searching for missing individuals.   Since inception, all funds have been raised for equipment and the training our members.  
Michelle
Michelle Healy
Trustee
 

 

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Berwickshire Family History Society

Year Completed: 
2015
AITCHISON - A Berwickshire Family
 
Through one of our local members we made contact with Pam Ray who had published in Australia a very well researched book in 2 volumes on the AITCHISON family. The problem was that the cost of postage from Australia to the UK was almost £50 which was restrictive.
After email contact was established we obtained consent to publish the books locally and market it through our own organisation. On my last visit to Australia in early 2015 we met the author and she presented me with a copy of the Australian version plus a USB stick containing the content of the books. On my return to the UK I obtained quotes for publication and set about seeking funds for the printing.
Since the area central to the books was the area around Grantshouse and Abbey St.Bathans it seemed that Blackhill Wind Farm Community Fund was the logical choice and  a successful application was lodged.
As soon as the grant was awarded the printing was instructed and the books are now available and are selling steadily. We visited the Grantshouse Local History Fair a few weeks ago and there was considerable interest from members of local families who had Aitchison connections.
The proceeds of our sales will be used to fund the publication of further local history books by the Society, indeed we have recently published “To Follow the Dogs and Carry the Stick” an interesting book by Bob Jaffray of his experience as a shepherd in the Lammermuirs, we have also recently produced a CD of Memorial  Inscriptions for Bunkle and Preston and that for Edrom is nearing completion.
The Society is indebted to the Fund for the  support received.
 
Bill Stewart
Membership Secretary
Borders Family History Society

 

Berwickshire Agricultural Association

Year Completed: 
2015

Berwickshire Agricultural Association were successful in obtaining a £2500 grant from Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund in autumn 2015, which enabled the replacement of a considerable proportion of the wooden sheep hurdles that are used for Berwickshire County Show and other events.  The stock of hurdles were 30 + years old and had been repaired in many cases.  As prevention of disease at sheep gatherings is of paramount importance and a regulatory responsibility, it was becoming increasingly difficult to justify repair of the wooden hurdles because they were difficult to clean to an acceptable standard.  Further, our stock of hurdles is loaned out to the local pony club and farmers for lambing so it made sense to try to raise funds to replace the stock with metal hurdles. 

 

The award from Blackhill Community Fund allowed us to replace the wooden hurdles with 254 5ft hurdles, and we were also able to purchase 4 metal stacking pallets with which to store and more easily transport the metal hurdles before and after the show period. 

 

Berwickshire County Show attracts a significant number of both local and farther travelled sheep to the breed sections held on the 1st Saturday of August.  Last year’s event saw nearly 300 individual sheep entries and over 50 different exhibitors from as far afield as East Lothian, Northumberland and Roxburghshire, and this number is increasing year on year.  Good quality, easily assembled sheep accommodation for the show is essential to make best use of time during set up and on the day, while ensuring that animal health standards are met.  We are very pleased and proud to have a stock of sheep gates that are useful for show purposes, but can be of use to other groups and farmers during the rest of the year.  Many thanks to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for making this happen. 

 

Natalie Cormack

 

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