HRH Prince Edward visits Queensberry

22nd May, 2014

On Monday 19th May, the Queensberry Initiative (QI) welcomed a royal visitor to the Buccleuch and Queensberry Estate. HRH the Earl of Wessex visited the Estate to see the range of learning opportunities created by QI’s development of the partnership between Buccleuch Estates, Wallace Hall Academy and the six local primary schools.

The Queensberry Initiative is an outdoor learning charity which aims to link Wallace Hall Academy, its local primary schools and its surrounding communities in order to enhance the learning experiences of pupils and develop their employability skills through partnership working. The project has been very successful in addressing these aims and is attracting increasing levels of interest both locally and nationally.

QI was established in 2008 as a result of discussions between Wallace Hall Academy and the Buccleuch and Queensberry Estate about building links in order to enhance the school curriculum. Funding was then sought to set up the project and to develop its main themes: vocational courses; ‘the outdoor classroom’; work placements; career mentoring; supported transitions between different stages of education; ‘whapples’, a social enterprise built around the development of a school orchard; and ‘Rural Opportunities Days’ to promote the range of career paths accessible in the local area. It was these core themes which were the focus when the Duke of Buccleuch offered QI this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the impact that the project has on young people in the local area.

Prince Edward’s visit was a memorable day for all involved and enabled both primary and secondary pupils to gain recognition for the work they produce in the ‘outdoor classroom’ throughout the year.

The Duke of Buccleuch, Queensberry Initiative’s key partner, stated: “We were delighted to welcome His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex to Drumlanrig to see the Queensberry Initiative in action.

“His Royal Highness took an enquiring and knowledgeable interest in the many aspects of the studies being undertaken by the children and delighted them and their teachers with his enthusiasm.

Even the best efforts of a thunder shower could not dampen the high spirits of all concerned.”

For further information about the Queensberry Initiative please visit