PUPILS from an Ayr secondary school got hands-on experience of working outdoors as part of a new skills work program.

Belmont Academy, S4 students attended the course at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Fifteen teens started on the year-long rural skills programme after many of them took part in an eight-week taster session last year to get a feel for the course.

While some already know they want to work in land-based industries such as agricultural engineering, farming or wildlife conservation, for others it is their first experience of outdoor work.

The programme, which is being funded by the Prince’s Trust, offers the opportunity to learn outdoors with project partners such as the National Trust for Scotland.

Cath Seeds, Programme Leader for Countryside Management at SRUC, said: “The students will take part in practical and classroom-based learning in a variety of topics including estate management, land-based industries, employability skills, soft-landscaping and crop production.”