SRUC Barony Campus

(Barony Agricultural College; The Barony College; Kirkmichael House)

Set within 260 ha (642 acres) farming and woodland estate in Dumfries and Galloway, the SRUC Barony Campus lies on the Water of Ae, 8 miles (13 km) north of Dumfries, just south of the village of Parkgate. Formerly the Barony Agricultural College (founded in 1974), this became part of the Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) in 2012, through merger with the Scottish Agricultural College, Elmwood College and Oatridge College. At its centre is a Jacobean-style manor house, built 1832-34 by William Burn (1789 - 1870) and known as Kirkmichael House. This was extended and converted to a modern college in 1984-91 and now includes 28 single and twin bedrooms for students. A further 16 single study-bedrooms are provided in the adjacent Nith and Cree Hostels and further accommodation is provided in self-catering cottages for mature students. Confusingly, there is another more modern Kirkmichael House on opposite side of Parkgate.

The Campus provides vocational training for land based industries within a working estate, with courses in agriculture, animal husbandry, aquaculture and sports fisheries management, engineering, forestry, horticulture and veterinary nursing. There are around 2600 students annually, undertaking courses leading to qualifications which range from short-courses, access-level and two-year HND programmes. The estate supports dairy and beef cattle, sheep, cereal production, a commercial trout farm and red deer enterprise. The Carse of Ae Fish Farm was bought by the College in 1984 and was subsequently extended by building a hatchery. A £1.3-million Dairy Technology Centre which was opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 2006 and includes a robotic milking system, while the Scottish Forest Industry Technology Centre incorporates a harvester simulator. The South of Scotland Wildlife Hospital was established as a separate charity in 1999 with the aim of to rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing native wildlife. Other facilities include a veterinary operating theatre, with x-ray facilities, an outdoor riding arena and an Angling Academy, launched in 2007. Commercial forestry and horticulture are undertaken. The Campus also provides a conference facility, based around the John Torrance Hall, which can seat 400. A franchised retail outlet supplies fish and venison from the estate.

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