By Mary Jones 11th August 2020

The Field Studies Council and not-for profit Community Interest Company Somerville Enterprises have finalised an agreement that will see the currently mothballed field centre reopen as a flagship therapeutic residential school for girls.

“I am particularly pleased that the centre will continue to have education as its core purpose and that the buildings and grounds will be put to really good use. Kindrogan is a wonderful place and clearly has a special place in the lives of the many people who have studied there over the last few decades.”

CEO of the Field Studies Council Mark Castle

The girls’ school will provide a forever home for Scottish teenagers in permanent care. The rigorous academic curriculum has a strong focus on the arts, the natural world, the outdoors, real life skills, gardening, and organic vegetable growing. Alongside the academic curriculum will be a focus on Scottish history, culture and traditional skills, together with Scottish music, singing and teaching Gaelic.

“We are so pleased to be building upon the Field Studies Council’s work, values and heritage that resonate so well with our own. We are looking forward to rolling up our sleeves, investing in and rejuvenating the beautiful buildings and grounds.”

Executive Director of Somerville Enterprises Kerri Ramsaidh

Fundamental to both organisations is the value of learning in and about the natural world. Kindrogan’s stunning location has inspired and connected generations of visitors with nature but it is so much more than just a beautiful place in which to learn. It also offers an opportunity for those at the new school to reap the many health and wellbeing benefits which connecting with nature provides.

The local community has enjoyed a warm relationship with the centre and the new school will bring educational expertise and new jobs to the area.  Despite Covid-19 restrictions, staff and contractors worked with local plant and skip hire companies, pulling out all the stops to ensure that the necessary work was done in time for the handover. Kindrogan’s important collection of Scottish natural history records has been carefully packed up and transported to FSC Millport.

“We intend to forge strong and enduring links with local people and organisations through our work and service for this community we hope to be joining in the near future” said Kerri Ramsaidh.

Mark Castle made it clear that FSC is continuing its work in Scotland. “The good news is that this lease arrangement will continue education at Kindrogan but also allows FSC to focus more clearly on the charity’s work in other parts of Scotland. So many school children miss out on outdoor learning and its benefits. We want to change that by increasing our reach and impact in Scotland.”