Learning

Horticulture (Gardening)

Our Horticulture (Gardening) team can help you learn to grow and care for vegetables, fruits, flowers and plants. From sowing seeds to harvesting, you'll learn to care for plants throughout their life-cycles.

You'll also help in 'the plant shop', preparing veg, fruit and plants for sale to our visitors. We use lots of our own fruit and veg in our cafe - so you'll be able to eat what you grow, from delicious soups to apple crumbles!

The Horticulture team also helps keep the gardens at Cantraybridge looking lovely all year round. You'll learn how to garden without using chemicals and how to care for the environment in other ways.

We go to lots of shows each year (Black Isle Show; Nairn and Inverness Flower Shows) - and we win lots of prizes too!

Horticulture is a fun department where you'll work with others and enjoy helping one another.

Animal Care

Our Animal Care department look after a small farm of about 20 acres and a variety of small animals, poultry and exotic birds. We have a flock of 32 breeding ewes and a herd of goats on the farm and we also look after 20 young cattle over the winter. Our students are engaged in learning by feeding and bedding the animals and taking care of their health. Just being around animals and caring for them can be hugely beneficial both physically and mentally. It is now well documented that holding and stroking animals can relieve feelings of tension and anxiety and our Animal Care department provides the opportunity to do this as our students carry out a range of tasks including feeding and cleaning accommodation, grooming, handling and health care.

In the summer the students get the opportunity to help with Cantraybridge’s social enterprise, ‘Greenfingers’, which works in the community providing a grass-cutting and garden maintenance service.

Here are some examples of the things young people can gain from being in the Animal Care group:

  • Students can work towards SVQ Level 1 & Level 2 in Animal Care.
  • Opportunity to develop their skills at a pace that suits the individual.
  • Opportunity to do work placements with local employers.
  • Learn about their rights and responsibilities towards others and themselves.
  • A chance to use their skills in a commercial environment through our social enterprise, Greenfingers.
  • Build their self-confidence, self-esteem and life skills to enhance their future prospects and life opportunities.
  • A chance to have fun whilst learning.

Woodskills

Our Woodskills team are a dedicated bunch of wood working enthusiasts, who have been very busy developing student skills and a range of products, which are sold in Cantraybridge Cafe. The most exciting thing about the Woodskills team is that they use the medium of wood work to develop and enhance all sorts of skills and learning and don’t just focus on the woodwork and joinery skills. Here are some examples of the things you can learn:

  • Use your wood working skills to help make products that we sell to customers
  • Grow your confidence and self-belief
  • Work as part of a team to build and finish products
  • Learn how to work safely with hand tools and machinery
  • Take team trips to places like Badaguish
  • Improve your communication skills
  • Gain an SVQ qualification
  • Feel satisfied at knowing you’ve been involved in the process of making, finishing and selling products to members of the public

Maintenance

Here at Cantraybridge, sustainability is one of our core values. The role of our Maintenance Department is to measure our Carbon Footprint and, where possible, reduce it by teaching our students about energy consumption.

In the near future, we aim to bring more environmentally friendly equipment to our offices and student houses on campus.

The department delivers cost-effective maintenance cover and support throughout Cantraybridge, whilst teaching our students basic skills such as painting, decorating, plumbing, joinery and minor electrical work.

The Maintenance Department is focused on:

  • Enabling our students to learn important life skills for maintaining their own homes and those of others.
  • Providing peer-to-peer training in the form of seminars and training sessions, throughout the year.

Cafe

Our Cafe is the focal point for us to welcome our local communities. Through the cafe we can showcase the talents and abilities of the young people who are training with us in retail, venue hire and cafe skills. These are the young people who will form valued members of the Highlands workforce when their journey through Cantraybridge is complete.

Gaining experience in a supported, commercial environment gives our young people the confidence to develop their skills. Welcoming community and business customers to our facilities gives our students the opportunity to begin the important conversations that will help them into employment.

Our cafe enjoys the same relaxed and social feeling that we enjoy across the entirety of Cantraybridge and is a great place to enjoy the rural countryside just outside Inverness. Why not have a browse of our Menu?