Barony Campus 2013-14 Student Newsletters

by Barony Student Newsletter Group (2013 - 2014)

September 2013, Issue 6.

Welcome to the Award Winning SRUC Barony Campus Student Newsletter.

SRUC LogoWelcome to our September 2014 newsletter page. We wanted to share what we have been up to at Barony, which includes an article from a former forestry student, Introduction to engineering work experience, fundraising events from NC Animal and more.

You can click on the thumbnail images within the image galleries to view larger images. Text highlighted as green within the articles are hyperlinks to websites, which open in new windows. You can also place feedback (using the Place feedback link) and rate our newsletter at the bottom of the newsletter page.

You can view last year's student newsletters by click here

Our next student newsletter release will be on the 30th of April.

Animal Care Banner

Congratulations to Danielle Girffiths; winner of the NC Animal Care Bed & Breakfast raffle draw. Barony Campus NC Animal Care students will also be holding a charity waxing (The One Strip Rip) where Barony students and lectures will be participating in an event to raise money for Cancer Research UK and The Make A Wish Foundation, to donate their time and test their pain threshold Yell

We will also be holding other stalls such as Guess The Teddy Bears Birthday? and Guess How Many Sweeties In The Jar? it will all be held on the 9th of October, and will be held within the Barony Campus Sports Hall, we hope to see you there Smile

See the 'NC Animal Care - Fundraising Event' image at the bottom of the page.

By: Beth Cowan (NC Animal Care)

Vet Nursing Banner

Agriculture Banner


Goodbye Barony!

Ailsa and Stuart with Citizenship AwardWell the time has come after 2 years to bid Barony Campus, its staff, and our fellow students farewell.  It has been a privilege to attend Barony, and to be one of the first graduates of the newly formed SRUC outfit.

When the news reached us of the potential merger between Barony, Oatridge, Elmwood and SAC it is fair to say that it elicited a degree of fear amongst us.  The dining room was buzzing with speculation about the security of our courses, our staff, and most importantly our individual identity. 

There were rumours of it secretly being a takeover rather than a merger, and of the farm being shut down and so on, etc, etc.  The truth is that after this initial response we settled back into student life quickly, seemingly forgetting about the corporation threatening Barony.

The reason for this is simple; we had nothing to fear.  At every stage of the merger we were kept informed by our lecturers and of course our principal, of the progress made and the likelihood of the merger completion.  Barony being a small community College benefited us immensely, as the other College’s have been quick to point out that they felt overridden, under consulted and generally left in the dark.  This was put to Stuart & myself during a video conference with the other SRUC Campuses.  My response?  

Well I had to be truthful.  The merger has not affected Barony’s courses, content, staff or spirit.  It inspired us to think bigger, and in doing so the talented Ali Hastie (Barony Campus, Learning Technologist) developed the idea of our student newsletter within Mahara, the Campuses e-portfolio system.  A simple but effective way of communicating with the personnel involved within Barony, and also anyone involved with SRUC. 

We have set the standard, and led by example at every given opportunity.  The video interviews were challenging, as the thought of appearing on camera was daunting and required a fair bit of arm twisting but we are extremely grateful to Ali Hastie for persevering with us as we both have had an amazing time.

You, as students of SRUC should be proud to have the chance to study with a college which has buckets of potential to grow & develop.  The Principal, Professor Bob Webb, has himself said that as students of SRUC you have an abundance of expertise and experience at your disposal.  Your enrolment with SRUC does not simply end at Barony Campus, but encourages you to make use of all that SRUC has to offer, from challenging courses run at other Campuses to the research and consulting aspects of the laboratories.

We would like to congratulate our mentors at Barony for their dignified and professional approach to the merger, as we are well aware that pacifying a mob of students is no easy task.  We wish all the staff the best of luck, and would encourage anyone with inspirational ideas or interviewing skills to come forward and help Ali Hastie & the newsletter team out.  Being part of the newsletter has given us confidence and opportunities galore, the highlight being interviewing Professor Bob Webb at his office in Edinburgh.

Do not sit back and wait for someone else to do it; take chances, seize opportunities, forge lasting friendships, and most importantly have fun!! Enjoy your time at Barony because graduation comes round too quick and life is too short to have regrets.

Wishing you all the best!

By: Stuart MacTeir (HNC Agriculture 2012-13) & Ailsa Caygil (HND Vet Nursing 2012-13) 

Ex-roving reporters Wink

Forestry Banner

It was a Monday morning and we were ready for another “exciting” day with hand-tool Tom Karas (Barony Campus Forestry Lecturer).  We were told we had a special task today and we were to gather up an order of wood.  We got the list and were pointed towards the timber used for forwarder loading and unloading practice. 

The first challenge was to convert the feet and inches on the order to the metres and centimetres on our logger’s tapes.  Our solution was our smart phone, while Tom used a tape with both systems.

We found all the larger diameter logs, but needed 24 smaller pieces.  We went to Big Wood and selected trees of the correct dimensions.  We then had to justify felling these as part of a thinning operation.  We could only fell trees that benefited the remaining trees and did not create a big whole in the wood.

Forestry Students peeling the timber















We had a challenge or two reversing a trailer along a forest track. Got there in the end and took the poles to the forestry shed. 

We peeled some by hand and then used the pointer/peeler to do the rest.  Much easier and we thought it did a better job.

The Agrics took the timber to the building site and it was good to hear that the man in charge of the project was pleased with the timber.

By:  Calum Heeps, Stephen Sweeney, Eaun Borthwick, Wayne Gill, Chris Nwufoh, Steven Fraser (Diploma in Forestry)


  1. The first fact is about films. That fearful roar of the T-Rex was actually a combination of animal sounds, including elephant trumpeting and, bizarrely, penguin mating sounds. The velociraptor squeal is a combo of walrus grunts and dolphin squeaks.
  2. The second fact is about animals.  The Swell Shark, found in New Zealand, barks like a dog.
  3. The third fact is about planets. Mars takes its name from the Roman god of war. The ancient Greeks called the planet Ares, after their god of war; the Romans then did likewise, associating the planet’s blood-red colour with Mars, their own god of war.
  4. The fourth fact is about the brain. The brain is made up of about 75% water.
  5. The fifth fact is one you can try,  it is physically impossible to spin your right leg clockwise while you draw the number six with your right hand.

By: Darren McMillan (HND Animal Care)

Creative Commons license

Creative Commons license

September 2013 by Barony Student Newsletter Group (2013 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from Barony Student Newsletter Group (2013 - 2014).

On the day when the student Veterinary nurses have practical lessons, I was actually supposed to be at the equestrian unit. When I heard that the Veterinary Surgeon (Rodger Lever) would be using the new ultrasound scanner to examine a female Collie (Bo), thought to be four weeks pregnant, I just couldn't miss the opportunity to witness the scan.

Above, Rodger Lever with Bo and Barony Campus Veterinary Students (Click here for larger image)

Rodger firstly examined Bo and was teaching us what we should be feeling for when a bitch is pregnant and drew an example of what we would be looking for during the scan. While Rodger went onto figure out all the features of the new scanner, we were introduced to Bo, who was wonderful to work with.

Above, Rodger Lever with Bo's owner Davie Aitken and Barony Veterinary students (Click here for larger image)

Unfortunately, Rodger was unable to detect any definite images to prove Bo was pregnant which was rather disappointing. However, she will have another ultrasound scan next week then we will know for certain whether or Bo is pregnant.











Above, Rodger Lever using the ultrasound on Bo (Click here for larger image)

We will keep you updated within October's student newsletter Wink

By: Lauren France (HNC Animal Nursing )


“What a good doo” – The race was a great success this year with 43 people competing for the coveted prizes; weather conditions were good with water flow in the river moderate!

I was not going to run this year but as Bob Webbs (Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC) representative on campus I thought I had better turn out, Bob was keen for me to do the run as he was indisposed, no doubt when he hears about the fun we had  he will compete next year come what may! - I found out that Jonathan Cowens is an accomplished marathon runner but when he found out about the course and the competition he refused a free entry, he will need to work on his fitness for this year to be in with a chance!

I have been preparing for the race for over a week, I only missed half of Tom Karas (forestry lecturer) fitness session on Monday evening and never went near the pub at all last weekend, all things considered I reasoned I must be near my peak (not sure what peak – but I must be near it) and as well prepared as I could be.

I lined up on the grid and wondered what I was doing there, everyone was doing stretches and limbering up, It looked good so I thought I had better do the same – This was when I realised that the mind might be fit but the body was lagging somewhat behind, Alison Halliday then gave me a raffle ticket but did not ask for money, by this point it was too late, I had unwittingly signed on for the race!

Before I knew what happened someone shouted go (I was listening for the gun) and I was almost swept off my feet as everyone rushed off to the first marker, this was it, I had no alternative but to run, had I stopped I would have been crushed underfoot – I found myself past the first marker looking for the big bush that a previous Principal who shall remain nameless used to hide behind until the first runners came into sight on their way back, I am pretty sure Andrew Treadaway (forestry lecturer) has cut it down so I could not cheat.

The next hazard was the mud at the riverbank gate (I was sure I had tied my right trainer on properly - but obviously not) – by the time I had sorted this out I had lost time and  a few more places, the next hazard was the river which was to be crossed, with much encouragement from the banking I staggered across, slipping and sliding on the riverbed – By the time I navigated my way across the river Rob Paterson (engineering lecturer) was a spec on the horizon (at one time I had considered offering to be pacemaker for Rob – the lost trainer kiboshed that – sorry Rob you could have won had I been able to help you)

I staggered on to the fish farm seriously considering giving up, Fergal Downes (fish farm manager) was on hand marshalling  and managed to convince me that there was a pub at the top of the hill so I thought I should make a special effort, I ran on by the fish farm cottage doing the best I could to encourage students who passed me to “walk” – as usual they did not listen and left me in their wake, I found myself at the bottom of the hill and reasoned that now was a good time to walk, I could not believe it when Tom Karas whipped past me on the hill – Thinking about the pub at the top I thought I should stick with Tom who is a seasoned sportsman, if anyone could get me up the hill Tom could – we lost 5 minutes looking for the pub, I must have mistaken Fergal’s directions!!

Tom and I sprinted? Down the hill managing to overtake a few students (Rob – Getting them to wear boots and boiler suits was a good move) It was only when I got to the road that I realised I had made a mistake running with Tom as he stopped me cheating by using a shortcut through the nettles, as I was running down to the fish farm I must have been getting tired and delirious and was looking for somewhere to stop when Stevie McKillop (fisheries lecturer) asked me for my raffle ticket, when I handed it to him I am sure he said I was winning, so I thought “I cannot give up now” and staggered on to the riverbank, into the river where I managed to put my foot in a hole and fall over a stone at the same time (please do not worry as the bruising will fade by the weekend) – what spurred me on was the cheering and laughter?? from the bank after my graceful river crossing.

Heading back along the walled garden I worked out that if I got my body angle right by leaning forward my legs would follow – I was doing fine at my own pace when I heard the footsteps behind me, you have guessed it – Tom Karas again! - Thanks Tom I could have hurt myself if I had fell on my face, Tom and I sprinted?? to the finish managing to overtake some students along the way – At this point I was disappointed as I realised that I had not won, there were too many relaxed competitors who had been finished for a while ( Lindsey Ferguson had not even broken sweat – amazing!) Stevie must have been kidding me about winning!

The winning time was 18 minutes, I finished in 25 minutes, if you consider the time lost putting my trainer back on and the five minutes lost looking for the pub I was definitely “on the money” and just to show I am not a bad loser I will say no more if Fraser shares his winnings with me – I also suspect marshal's were closing gates for me and opening them for others, we need to watch this next year, as I say I am not a bad loser!!

Sincere thanks to all staff who participated and those who encouraged their students to take part, it was great fun (really?) – Special thanks to Alison, Tom and Pearl for the extra effort they put in, the Barony race is a great tradition and it is fantastic to see staff and students enjoying themselves so much, I would also like to thank Karen for presenting the prizes, after approximately 15 minutes from race conclusion I was able to speak again, Rob led the charge for the staff coming in 3rd, if I had my act together either Rob or I would have won!!

I am aware that staff are already training hard for next years event spending endless hours in the gym, I cannot reveal who (Laura and Sheila) but would encourage you all to get involved, the fancy dress and the effort the students made this year won them a well deserved prize.

Thank you – and well done all!

By: Drew Easton - Dean of Barony Campus & Senior Tutor

Come along to the One Strip Rip charity event at the Barony Gym on the 9th of October.

Come along to the One Strip Rip charity event at the Barony Gym on the 9th of October.

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