New hose system is a hit with kids

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AN ANGUS charity that teaches schoolchildren about farming is ensuring more than its conscience is clean in meeting legislation surrounding its activities.

The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) Angus Countryside Initiative hit a problem in meeting requirements surrounding its main aim, which is getting children out into the countryside.

The group covers the whole Angus Council area, and is headed up by a committee of representatives from the farming community and the local education service.

It aims to provide a balanced, reliable and independent source of information about farming, food production and other aspects of the rural economy through farm visits, classroom talks, projects and curriculum-linked resources.

Activities are also geared to fit in with the Curriculum For Excellence and help work towards Eco-school status and Health Promoting Schools status.

But the group is now required to make sure that children’s hands are washed under running water, rather than in a bowl, at the end of farm visit which led to problems due to the number of children involved in its activities.

Angus agricultural vehicle company A.M. Philip has come to the charity’s rescue with a unique solution.

Project co-ordinator Carol Littlewood said: “Some of the charity’s activities involve huge numbers of children attending events in the countryside and so washing hands individually under a hose pipe is not an option.

“RHET ACI chairman Bruce Christie approached A.M. Philip to help solve the problem and their engineers came up with an excellent solution and we are now the proud owners of a custom made hand-washing system made from steel pipe and adapted agricultural sprayer nozzles.

“The system allows up to 10 children at a time to wash their hands under the water jets. The whole system is mounted on fold down legs and is “hinged” in the middle with flexible hose so that it fits easily in the back of a vehicle.”

The system was used successfully at the recent Kinnordy Estate Day near Kirriemuir when more than 300 children from across Angus visited over two days and had some very grubby hands to be cleaned before going home.