beach clean

Animal Care students clean Wirral’s top beach

Twenty eight students braved a drizzly day to team up with the New Brightoners volunteer group to clear rubbish from the beach, which is adjacent to the town’s promenade and Floral Pavilion Theatre and extremely popular with families, sailors, jet skiers and dog walkers.

PAT trained dog Maisy

Pets for Therapy workshop

On Wednesday the 15th of March, Canine course manager Rachel Rodgers ran a Pets as Therapy (PAT) session as part of the Student Associations ‘Extra Time’.

Students from all levels and across the curriculum areas had the chance to meet and work with our trained PAT dog Maisy, experiencing some of the techniques involved in this therapeutic process.

PAT trained dog Maisy

PAT trained dog Maisy

PAT dogs have been proven to help people in many different ways, from lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving confidence and importantly helping those who are at times socially isolated. This session was particularly aimed at our Level 5 degree students who are due to start their end of year exams in a couple of weeks.

For students who were nervous or not as used to dogs, Maisy sat on Rachel’s knee and students could stroke Maisy when they felt comfortable. For those who felt able, students had the chance to work with Maisy and ask her to do a few simple tricks in return for a treat.

A little more about Maisy…

Maisy is 4 year old Jack Russell cross Pug, passed her Pets as Therapy assessment in May 2015 and has been a registered PAT dog since October. She has previously taken part in a PAT session for staff as during Staff Development Day last year, alongside her brother Rico. Maisy’s calm gentle nature makes her ideal for these sessions.

You can find out more about Pets as Therapy on the charity’s website: or have a chat with a member of the canine department.

Rachel Rodgers

Course Manager FdSc/BSc Canine Behaviour and Training

wags and walk

Community dog walk raises fund for local charities

Reaseheath’s newly formed Canine Student Society held their first very successful public event ‘Wags and Walks’ last weekend. The sponsored dog walk saw dogs and their owners from Nantwich and the surrounding local area follow a trail across campus all carefully planned by the Canine society.

Casualities to Cadavers 2016

Casualties to Cadavers

Casualities to Cadavers 2016

We recently  hosted a wildlife workshop “Casualties to Cadavers”  in association with the British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. It was a great day which involved students meeting with industry professionals and learning new skills revolving around animal autopsy. We hope to extend this link in future with similar events being held at the college.

If anyone would be interested in becoming a member, please visit

Lucy Cosgriff

Lecturer and L2 Course Manager in Animal Management

Step out for Stroke volunteers at Reaseheath College

Survivors step out for stroke at Reaseheath


Step out for Stroke participants a the start line

Step out for Stroke participants a the start line

Crewe and Nantwich Stroke Association hosted a Step out for Stroke walk at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, on Saturday 4th June. This family fundraising event is saw 56 participants, take part in the event.

Participants, who included stroke survivors and their families, walked or ran across the campus and covered distances that ranged from 0.5miles to 3.2 miles (5km). A fantastic £681 was raised for the Stroke Association on the day with further sponsorship yet to be collected.

Reaseheath’s Level 2 Animal Management students supported the event by volunteering on the day and all did a brilliant job!

Step out for Stroke volunteers at Reaseheath College

Step out for Stroke volunteers at Reaseheath College

The Step out for Stroke initiative is for everyone affected by stroke, and can be as long or as short as participants can manage. For stroke survivors, this challenge often marks their first steps since their stroke.

There are more than 14,600 strokes each year in the North West and over 157,370 people living with the effects of stroke.

To find out more about Step out for Stroke visit

Lucy Cosgriff
Lecturer and Level 2 Course Manager in Animal Management

Samantha Smith is the one with shorter hair while the other is Lucy Renouf 1MB

Animal Management Welfare Conference Day

Samantha Smith and Lucy Renouf

Samantha Smith and Lucy Renouf

On Tuesday the 10th May the animal management department held a a series of career talks as part of their Welfare Conference Day for Level 3 Animal Management students and Animal Behaviour and Welfare undergraduates. Students had the chance to gain an insight into potential career options from a range of guest speakers and had the opportunity to widen their knowledge of current animal welfare issues.

Students Lucy Renouf and Samantha Smith report on the day:

Lucy Renouf

To start , I saw Kathryn Wright, who opened our eyes to how we can help to sustain our meat-infused diet, while creating better welfare for the animals involved. The main conclusions were to have ‘vegetarian’ days, while buying meat which has labels from the RSPCA and declare that they are ‘organic’, ‘free range’ or ‘high welfare indoor farmed’.

After lunch, I attended a talk by Jim Barrington, from the Countryside Alliance. He talked about some really controversial aspects of hunting. He talked about how hunting is entwined with the natural food chain and aids with Wildlife Management. There was debate afterwards between students and Mr Barrington. It was good for the students to have this opportunity to debate with someone who agreed with such a controversial topic.

I then returned to the domestic and exotics route to see a presentation by Andrew Trafford, which was an eye opener into the world of the heart, and how they use animals in the research of heart conditions. He also touched on the welfare of animals kept in labs and how that has changed over time. Finally was Paul Hodson, who gave us an amazing insight to how animals are taken in by their charity and how they help to ensure animal welfare. He went on to explain how they help people who may not be able to afford veterinary care for their pets.

Overall, I found the day very useful and all of the speakers were interesting and made good points which sparked thoughts in people’s minds on the various topics. The day gave the students chance to see outside views and consider them in their own, and I hope that I can speak for all the students involved by saying a big thank you to the staff and visitors who gave us this opportunity.

Samantha Smith

My day began with a talk from Kizzy Beaumont (Reaseheath Higher Education Lecturer), who posed the question ‘Do fish feel pain?’ and went on to explain how the implications of this statement can affect the welfare legislation relating to fish.

Following Kizzy I attended a talk from Nottingham Trent University PhD student Ellen Williams. As part of her PhD Ellen has been looking at the welfare of captive elephants across Britain and Ireland.  When I spoke to Ellen, she said that her aim when giving this talk to students was to hopefully increase the awareness of elephants in captivity and how they are kept as well as how research can be used to improve welfare.

The next speaker was Reaseheath’s lecturer and former training coordinator on the ABWAK (Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers) Council, Holly Johnson. She talked to the students about the work ABWAK and what the organisation does to reach its aim to ‘achieve and advance the highest standards of excellence in wild animal care’.

The final speaker I saw during the day was Reaseheath Higher Education lecturer Dr Tom Quirke who spoke about the work he did in his PhD project with captive Cheetahs in Britain, Ireland, Canada and Namibia. He wanted the students to understand the importance of using an animal’s behaviour when monitoring welfare and how changes in behaviour can be used to determine whether an animal is living in an environment best suited to its needs.

Overall, the Welfare Conference Day was a great opportunity for students to gain knowledge on where an animal welfare degree can lead to and how they can work towards improving welfare standards of various different animals.

Lined up for the camera: Hoofstock members Nicole Hatcher, Sarah Eastwood, Victoria Copson, Daisy Kemp, Celia Gould, Charlotte Elwood, Danielle Wharton, Ben Fitzcosta and Jess Sellwood with ponies Frankie, Cassie and Jasmine  and donkeys Percy and Bertie  

Reaseheath’s Hoofstock Society spread Christmas spirit

Members of Reaseheath’s Hoofstock Society spread Christmas spirit by making festive outfits for some of the college’s paddock animals, then taking them for a charity walk round campus.

 Lined up for the camera: Hoofstock members Nicole Hatcher, Sarah Eastwood, Victoria Copson, Daisy Kemp, Celia Gould, Charlotte Elwood, Danielle Wharton, Ben Fitzcosta and Jess Sellwood with ponies Frankie, Cassie and Jasmine  and donkeys Percy and Bertie  

Lined up for the camera: Hoofstock members Nicole Hatcher, Sarah Eastwood, Victoria Copson, Daisy Kemp, Celia Gould, Charlotte Elwood, Danielle Wharton, Ben Fitzcosta and Jess Sellwood with ponies Frankie, Cassie and Jasmine  and donkeys Percy and Bertie

The students, three ponies and two donkeys visited departments across the college to collect donations for two favourite charities, The Donkey Sanctuary and the Horse and Pony Protection Association (HAPPA). The team, who had also made Christmas cookies, raised a total of £84.

Keeper Kerri Robson, who launched the Hoofstock Society, said: “Our walk round college has become a tradition and this year the members have made a big effort to make it bigger and better. It’s a really nice way to spread some cheer and get the animals and students involved”.

We decided to raise money for the Donkey Sanctuary as they need to raise £600,000 for a new donkey hospital. The members also felt they would like to make a donation to HAPPA and were delighted with the generous donations they received.”        

 And here’s a pic of FD ADW undergraduate Nicole Hatcher, who made this smart Christmas outfit for miniature Shetland pony ‘Frankie’

Nicole Hatcher with miniature Shetland pony ‘Frankie’

Nicole Hatcher with miniature Shetland pony ‘Frankie’

The invertebrate first aid training workshop

Sharing interverbrate first aid best practice

Reaseheath Herpetological and Entomological Society shared their knowledge invertebrates at a recent BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group (TIWG) conference.

Conference delegates have a go at first aid techniques

Conference delegates have a go at first aid techniques

The conference, held at Twycross Zoo over two days (7th-8th December), took place in conjunction with  the Veterinary Invertebrate Society (VIS). The two day event focused on invertebrate health and included a number of presentations and workshops from vets, zoo professionals and our very own RHES members.

Six RHES members were selected by Reaseheath keeper Lauren Lane (A BIAZA TIWG steering committee member) to facilitate an accredited training workshop on invertebrate first aid.

The invertebrate first aid training workshop

The invertebrate first aid training workshop

During the workshop, RHES members joined three other facilitators Lauren Lane, Steve Trim (Venomtech Director) and Tracy Dove (Isle of White Zoo) giving over 40 delegates the opportunity to learn and practise a number of first aid techniques for invertebrate species. The techniques included autotomy, haemolymph loss and ectoparasite removal amongst others.

On evaluation of the conference delegates said that the first aid workshop was the most useful and enjoyable, which was a fantastic outcome.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank RHES for their professionalism and enthusiasm during the conference and to all staff members that lent items for the workshop.

Lauren Lane

Lower Vertebrate and Invertebrate keeper/instructor

World Aids Day on lawn 1MB

Students mark World AIDS Day with human ribbon

Caring students from across the college joined together to mark World Aids Day by forming a giant ribbon on the front lawn.

World Aids Day is a worldwide initiative held annually on the 1st December powered by the National AIDS Trust, established to give people the opportunity to unite together to show their support for those living with HIV.

Bakery students demonstrated their support by baking red velvet cupcakes along with other students and staff who had their nails painted red, raising £175 for National AIDS Trust.

World Aids Day on lawn 1MB

Students forming at giant ribbon on Reaseheath main lawn

marine mammal

Marine mammal training workshop

On the 10th – 13th of November 2015, four animal management students attended the joint International Marine Animal Training Association and European Association of Aquatic Mammals workshop, held at Zoomarine, Italy.

Beth Goddard and Amy Clyne, both studying Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management were joined by degree students James Doodson and Matt Brown taking part in the international event.

The trip was mentioned to students interested in sealions and dolphin training by lecturer/course manager Rachel Rodgers who was presenting a talk on training the next generation of animal trainers at the event.

The students attended presentations by animal trainers and vets from all over Europe on topics such as “expanding marine mammal training and enrichment programs” by Sabrina Brando from Animal Concepts, “training with crocodiles” by Florian Ploetz from Tierpark Hagenbeck Hamburg, and “medical vs mental” by Cynthia Henderson.

Alongside talks, the students attended practical demonstrations of marine mammal training, such as pinniped displays and training sessions demonstrating artificial insemination procedures in bottle nose dolphins.

A great time was had by all, particularly at the gala meal on the Wednesday evening which allowed students to mix with industry specialists and secure work experience placements with marine mammal parks across Europe.

Animal management students joined by Rachel Rodgers at Zoomarine

Animal management students joined by Rachel Rodgers at Zoomarine