Fun With The National Museum Of Rural Life

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The National Museum of Rural Life is a working farm, farmhouse and museum in East Kilbride. The museum explores how farming the land in Scotland has changed over the past 300 years. You can explore our museum collections to find out more about the machinery and history of farming before stepping back in time at our working farm.

I started working at Rural Life last year, right in the middle of our exciting events season! We have four large scale events at Rural Life that let us show off our museum collections and really bring Scotland’s rural and farming heritage to life in a fun and entertaining way. With each season there is something new to see which means no two events are ever the same. From the word go I’ve loved being a part of these days, seeing visitors engage with the museum, try out something new and most of all have a ridiculous amount of fun!

At our events you can enjoy so many different activities. Why not get up close to nearly 200 horses at our annual Heavy Horse show in July before meeting some of our smaller equine visitors at our Christmas Fair & Foal Show in December? September sees the return of our popular Country Fair where we celebrate all things rural with craft stalls, sheep dog trials, farriery demonstrations, stock judging and our ever popular toy tractors.

Our events kick off this year on Sunday 4th May with Back to the 50s, a new event for 2014 that will see us show off our farm and museum collections from the 1950s.  Style yourself at Miss Dixie Bells hair salon and browse our retro stalls before you check out our pre-1960s vehicle and tractor displays. We will have live music with costumed characters helping you get in the spirit on the day. We’re also very excited to be joined by Sara Sheridan, the best-selling Scottish author, to hear more about why this fascinating era inspires her.

Explore our period farmhouse and working farm to watch our Ayrshire cows getting milked and learn more about farming methods from the decade. We’ll have our spring lambs and calves to visit, as well as Mhairi our Clydesdale horse and her new friend Anna, the Clydesdale yearling.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting our Big Events programme at the National Museum of Rural Life this year and I hope many of you can pop along to enjoy the fun!

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This is part of a series of guest blogs written by charities and good causes supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Today’s guest blog comes from Nicola Bray, Learning Officer at National Museums Scotland. As well as the National Museum of Rural Life, funding from our players supports the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National War Museum and the National Museums Collections Centre.

Scotland’s Earth Hour Stars

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This year’s Earth Hour is looking like it will be the biggest and brightest yet. Thousands of people across Scotland – and millions across the world – are getting involved and will spend an hour doing things in the dark to send a message about climate change.

Among them is young Scottish cyclist Callum Skinner, who recently took part in an Earth Hour event at the Glasgow 2014 Velodrome. When we met him at the Velodrome he said, “It’s great to be here at the Velodrome named after the man who inspired me to take up the sport, Sir Chris Hoy.  Getting involved in sport, and in particular cycling, gets you fit and getting on your bike for shorter journeys helps cut pollution. I’m delighted Glasgow 2014 is getting behind WWF’s Earth Hour.”

This is exactly what Earth Hour is all about. Sending a positive message about what we can do to protect our amazing planet at the same time as having fun.

As well as Glasgow 2014 venues, other landmarks that will be switching off their lights for Earth Hour include Edinburgh Castle, the Forth Rail Bridge, the Royal Yacht Britannia and Glasgow Cathedral, the Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) and the Christ the Redeemer Statue.

As global leaders discuss how we can tackle climate change the powerful voice of the millions of people that are involved in Earth Hour is critical. It sends a clear message that people care about our planet and want to find a way to protect it.

Working with partners like Glasgow 2014 and with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery makes it possible to demonstrate that people in Scotland – and across the world – want to see bold action on climate change.

Ultimately, Earth Hour provides a chance to pause and appreciate the wonder of the natural world around us. We want to thank everyone taking part this year – when the lights go off you’ll show us that Scotland really is full of stars!

For more information about all the inspiring things people are doing for this year’s Earth Hour go to WWF Scotland’s website.

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This is part of a series of guest blogs written by charities and good causes supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Today’s guest blog comes from Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland. This incredible charity tackles global threats to people and nature such as climate change.

Educating The Dog Owners Of Tomorrow

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The Dogs Trust Education Programme teaches children in the UK about responsible dog ownership and how to stay safe around dogs. We believe educating the dog owners of tomorrow has a major impact on solving the stray dog problem, as well as reducing instances of anti-social behaviour involving dogs. It is hoped that by taking this information home our key messages will also reach siblings, parents and the wider community.

In 2013, our 17 Education Officers nationwide spoke to around 106,000 children through over 3,500 classroom presentations, visiting over 1,000 schools and youth groups.

Workshops are interactive with lots of room for discussion, debates and role play. Our key messages focus on teaching children about the commitment involved in owning a dog and how to be safe around them.

Education Officers also work with local councils to give talks to disadvantaged young people, youth offenders and special needs groups.

Through the Dogs Trust Education Programme we are:

  • Helping to prevent cruelty by encouraging respect for animals amongst children
  • Helping reduce the number of stray and abandoned dogs, saving the lives of many more dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep
  • Keeping children safe around dogs, helping to prevent accidents

For more information on Dogs Trust’s Education Programme please visit their website.

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This is part of a series of guest blogs written by charities and good causes supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Today’s guest blog comes from Scott Spence at Dogs Trust, a fantastic charity that cars for around 16,000 lost, unwanted and abandoned dogs.