"I opened the nursery in August 1991 - with a vision to deliver care and education to children using the environment of our family farm. Over the years animals and children have come and gone but the ethos of using the seasons and the great outdoors to help children learn and develop remains the same. As a hands on owner and manager I am proud to still be involved on a daily basis with the children by delivering music and singing sessions and happy to be around to support families and staff in nurturing and preparing the children for their lives ahead."
"After studying at Stirling University, I worked in hospitality with Hilton Hotels for 10 years in both Glasgow and London. I lived in Singapore whilst working on some international events before I moved back to the family farm in 2014 to raise my 2 daughters.
I’m honoured to have the opportunity to keep my mum’s dream alive by developing our outdoor spaces and maintaining Bardykes as a truly unique learning environment.”
"Bardykes Farm Nursery School adopts a unique, special and nurturing ethos for not only children and families but the staff too, which I feel honoured to be a part of. The dream team welcomed me in November 2016 as a student, undertaking my BA in Childhood Studies and I was amazed at the vast outdoor space, the animals and the home from home environment which is unlike any other nurseries. I was delighted to be offered a permanent position in April 2017 and have since attained my BA (Hons) Childhood Studies and more recently a Masters in Early Years. I have been able to adapt the theory and knowledge from these courses into my role of office manager as well as in practice as a keyworker. I thoroughly enjoy being both on the floor and in the office supporting the dream team to thrive towards the successes we have achieved in the last year."
"I started working at Bardykes in 1998 whilst studying my HNC in Childcare and Education.
It's great seeing the children grow in confidence from year to year as they learn and develop at nursery.
The farm surroundings gives the children experience with animals, helps them learn how the original farm was used with the old machinery we still have, and allows them to collect home grown organic fruit from the orchard.
The things I love about the nursery is being able to give the children a unique experience and being hands on with the animals - collecting eggs from our chickens, feeding Rosie and Ruth our horses.
I feel very lucky to be working at Bardykes Farm Nursery School and think I have the best job in the world working with the children and the animals."
I have been a qualified nursery practitioner since June 2008 and have been part of the Bardykes team since then. I have always wanted to be a nursery practitioner since as long as I can remember. It is such a rewarding job, watching all the children in my care learn and develop.
Creative Arts Expert
"Hi Everyone, I’m Christie!
I began my Bardykes journey as an HNC Childhood Practice student in March 2021. I was thrilled to be offered a full time job role as a key worker/practitioner very quickly after my start date. I have been a qualified full time member of staff since July 2021. My favourite thing about the nursery is how warm and approachable all of our staff members are and the small team environment makes Bardykes feel like a little family. The daily interactions and curiosity from the children make no two days the same. I am extremely passionate about outdoor play and how children can learn, develop and grow from the natural world around them🪵♻️. In my spare time, I make personalised handcrafted gifts for people, which brings out my creative, arty side! I’ve previously ran my own children’s classes “Tootsies” and have also helped out at Bardykes Events. One of my favourite quotes is : “Anything that can be done inside, can be done outside, and so much more”. ✏️🌈🍃
As of June 2023 I will be on my travels to begin my adventure at Camp America, a summer programme where I will continue my combined love for working with children, the outdoors and travel! "
Gardening & Woodwork Specialist
"Hi, you can all call me Stevie. I completed my HNC in Childhood Practice in 2021 and have worked at Bardykes since then.
After several years of working with adults with additional needs, I am enjoying the experience of early years practice.
I am a keen gardener and like to grow as much of my own food as possible from a herb garden on the kitchen window to potatoes in the back garden. I love to encourage children to grow things and experience the joy of going from seed to plate.
I also like to recycle/ upcycle as much as possible and encourage the children to reuse as much recyclable material as possible.
I am excited to encourage the children at Bardykes to develop more knowledge and skills in their environment."
"Hi everyone, my name is Amy and I am a nursery practitioner here at Bardykes.
I have been earning different qualifications within childcare for the past 8 years and recently gained my HNC qualification and became qualified last June. I then decided to study my HND Childhood Practice and have been really enjoying my course since I started in August last year📝
I am a HUGE animal lover from having every pet available at Pets At Home growing up to now spending time and building relationships with the animals on the Farm, my favourite are the dogs🐶 I love drawing and everything messy and I love getting the children involved in exploring their creativity and imagination💭
I live in Larkhall with my partner JJ, our 2 year old son, Noah and Oreo the cat🐈⬛. In my spare time I enjoy reading, watching movies and taking Noah to the park”
"Hi, everyone I’m Abbie, I joined Bardykes dream team in June 2022 to do my modern apprenticeship.
I have always loved being around children and watching them learn and reach big milestones in their lives. 🌈
In my spare time, I like to go out with friends and spend time with family. "
I have always loved being around children watching them learn and reach big milestones in their lives.
In my spare time I like to go out with friends and spend time with family.
I am so excited to be a part of Bardykes dream team.
Health & Safety and Admin
“Hi, my name is Lisa, I am one of the parents here are Bardykes and started as a volunteer Events Assistant in 2022. I am now part of the Dream Team doing Events and Health & Safety and will be undertaking some admin requirements too. I have many years’ experience in the hospitality and events sectors and as a volunteer leader with the Scout & Guide movements which will stand me in good stead for working at Bardykes.
I very much enjoy working on the farm, seeing the children grow and learn new skills, ensuring they have a safe environment to do this, and looking after the animals, especially the lambs!"
"I'm Ruth and am incredibly lucky to be familiar with farm and nursery already. My claim to fame is that I was the first pupil at Bardykes Farm Nursery when it opened in 1991 and that Ruth the horse was named after me!
I was fortunate enough to spend a huge part of my childhood at Bardykes, horse riding, making swings and dens in the forbidden forest, sledging down the back field and making chutes out of hay bales in the barn. This has led me to be a great advocate for adventurous outdoor play for children allowing them to learn through nature. So much so that I assisted the implementation of the first "nature-based risky play" initiative in Blantyre's primary schools allowing the children the opportunity to learn to embrace their natural environment.
I am a graduate of University of the West of Scotland with a BSc Hons in Adult Nursing and currently work as a nurse specialist at Hairmyres Hospital. Prior to this I spent 12 years working with children who have additional support needs in nursery, primary and secondary school while working towards my BSc at the Open University with studies in Children's Literature and Counselling and Psychotherapy.
My role as Nurture Nurse at Bardykes allows for me to call on all of my work and life experience in one role. I will be working as a small part of the Dream Team to ensure that the excellent grade for care and support is maintained. I will be available to lend my support families and staff, to offer medical suggestions and promote personal and holistic well-being.
My favourite thing to do is spend time exploring Scotland with my husband, our son and our dog Sirius."
"Hi everyone 💜 at Bardykes they call me JoJo and I live in Blantyre! I joined the team in August 2023 to start a Modern Apprenticeship.
When I was growing up, looking after my neighbours kids or my little cousins was the best time in my life. I loved watching them live their lives and learning so many things along the way. Working at Bardykes is a dream come true! It has shown me that I have achieved my own goal in helping children achieve theirs and watch them grow into their own person and develop their own way of thinking. Getting to be one of the people that has helped a child achieve a great milestone is a wonderful feeling, I know that working in Bardykes will make that feeling a permanent thing.
In my spare time, I am a very big reader, I am a strong believer that reading books boosts your mind and imagination. Settling down with a good book is one of the best things about my days, getting to live in that world I'm reading about. I'd love to show kids the value in reading a good book, to show them that there are so much more worlds to explore with your mind. To imagine what the scenery is and what the characters look like and to feel how the story makes you feel. In my opinon, every child should get to experience the feeling of living in their book, their story."
“Hi everyone, I am Paul. I am a qualified practitioner just new here at Bardykes.
I have been qualified in Early Years for 17 years, most recently earning a Diploma in Education Studies at the University of the West of Scotland.
I am a massive animal lover, so alongside my enjoyment of working with children, Bardykes is as close to a dream job as possible!
In my spare time I enjoy watching live music, football and playing some Xbox with my son. As well as my son, I have 3 step-daughters and 3 rabbits, named Abbey, Blue and Mr Bojangles. The daughters or rabbits, you can decide!”
“Hello everyone! My name is Morgan and I am the new nursery assistant here at Bardykes.
I started my childcare journey at 16 when I joined college before becoming a modern apprentice at 17 and achieving an SCQF level 6 in children and young people. I tried a few different jobs before ultimately realising my love for childcare outweighed them all and that’s when I joined Bardykes.
My favourite thing about the nursery is how we use the natural world around us, encouraging the children to grow and learn from it. I have always loved watching the children explore and experience new things as they grow more curious.
I live in Hamilton with my partner Reece and our favourite thing to do is go out and about trying different food spots and activities! I also love to read and get crafty in my spare time! There’s nothing better than letting your imagination flow and creating something wonderful!”
Outdoor Practitioner & Gardener
“I have 20 years experience working in childcare.
Gardening is my passion. I love to teach children about where the food that we eat comes from and about how to grow & nurture plants from seed. I have my own allotment at home where I grow a variety of fruit, herbs and vegetables.
I have two pet rabbits Simba & Cinnamon who have their own raised bed dedicated to them at my plot where I grow kale, spinach and a variety of herbs for them.
I am about to start studying therapeutic gardening at college in August and hope that I can bring what I learn back to Bardykes.
I have been teaching Forest schools for 6 years where I teach skills such as den building or cooking on the fire pit. I am very passionate about outdoors and teaching outdoor learning. I love teaching children about outdoors; teaching them life skills, mindfulness and about the joy of nature.”
“I’m Richie, I help around the farm with the animals and fixing things. I’ve lived in Blantyre all my life and enjoy working at Bardykes.”
Sandy Wilkie MBE
Retired milk man and "santa"
"Sandy Wilkie, took over the family business from his father Peter Wilkie, and "Wilkie’s Milk” was delivered to the local committee from the farm for many years.
Sandy was awarded an MBE in 2018 for his support to the local community eg Blantyre Round Table, East Kilbride Young Farmers, David Livingstone Memorial to name but a few. More recently he is a retired milkman who now supports Maggie’s Lanarkshire, Hamilton Racecourse and his tribe of grandchildren! Perhaps Bardykes Farm's worst kept secret - at Christmas he plays the main role of "Santa Sandy”