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

The Protect Primates display at Reaseheath's Animal Management Centre

Protect Primates

Having previously worked for the RSPCA before becoming a lecturer at Reaseheath College, I am delighted that we are proudly displaying the RSPCA #ProtectPrimates campaign posters around Reaseheath Zoo and Animal Management Centre.

The campaign is to raise awareness of the thousands of primates which are currently being confined to UK homes. These primates include species such as marmosets, capuchins and squirrel monkeys. These intelligent animals can end up being socially isolated and often kept in inadequate conditions which lack the necessary stimulation they require.

The Protect Primates display at Reaseheath's Animal Management Centre

The Protect Primates display at Reaseheath’s Animal Management Centre

More than 15 European countries have already banned primates from being kept as pets, this campaign is to raise awareness and also to urge the UK government to improve legislation to protect primates.

Further information can be found at: #ProtectPrimates

Rachel Rodgers

Course Manager Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management

Dogs trust photo Rachel Rodgers edit

Students bring joy to abandoned puppies

Our Extended Diploma in Animal Management students have been collecting canine toys and treats for Dogs Trust Manchester.

Reaseheath’s Kennel and Cattery Management Module Lead, Rachel Rodgers, was approached by Kerrianne Thomasson, Dogs Trust’s Canine Carer, with the request for help in gathering toys for their growing number of abandoned puppies currently resident at their Denton based rehoming centre.

Around 20 second year students specialising in kennel and cattery management rallied together and collated a vast array of donated cuddly toys, tennis, tuggers and treats for the puppies in need of a little joy. Donations were then delivered to the rehoming centre during the October half term holiday.

Dogs trust photo Rachel Rodgers edit

Rachel Rodgers with some of the donated toys and treats for Dogs Trust Manchester

The centre opened it’s doors in October 2014 with a team of 40 dedicated staff, making it one of the largest rehoming centres in the UK.

Said Julia Yould of Dogs Trust: “Thank you so much for all the presents, they are amazing and will be really appreciated by the dogs. It’s so important they have things to keep them occupied whilst they are in kennels so toys are just wonderful!”

If you have any unwanted dog toys or treats that you’d like to donate to Dogs Trust, please contact Rachel Rodgers who will ensure these are delivered in time for Christmas.

Layla Common Marmoset - twins

Reaseheath zoo welcomes baby twins

Layla Common Marmoset - twins

Layla our Common Marmoset and her new twins

Our little pair of Common Marmosets have now multiplied – as ‘Layla’ our female has given birth to twins!  The twins were born on Sunday 30th August and have grown and developed really well.  When they were first born they will have only weighed approximately 20grams!

They are now learning to climb and are venturing of their Mum ‘Layla’ and Dad ‘Cuscos’ back and can be seen tentatively walking along the branches, but are careful not to stray too far.

‘Layla’ and ‘Cusco’ are fantastic first time parents and are very protective of the twins.

Common Marmosets are from North-eastern Brazil and a huge part of their diet is the sap from trees, they use there incredibly sharp teeth to gnaw holes in the trunk of the trees to get to the sap whilst holding on vertically.

Why not pop over to Reaseheath Zoo to see the twins along with the rest of the collection during half term?!

Rebecca MacCreath


Jack Wootton the Universities Federation For Animal Welfare scholarship winner

Jack wins scholarship to explore fish behaviour

Congratulations to Jack Wootton, a third year undergraduate on our BSc Wildlife Conservation and Ecology Degree.

Jack  has been awarded a two month £1600 scholarship from the Universities Federation For Animal Welfare (UFAW)  to explore the behavioural responses of fish to reflective stimuli in their tanks . This will take place over the summer using  fantailed guppies and will be based at the University of Chester.

Jack  has always been passionate about fish welfare. He completed a Diploma in Animal Management at Reaseheath  in 2010 and then spent two years working in the field in Borneo and in the industry near his home in Stockport.

Jack Wootton the Universities Federation For Animal Welfare scholarship winner

Jack Wootton the Universities Federation For Animal Welfare scholarship winner

He followed this by completing his Foundation Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Reaseheath, followed by his current one year top-up which will hopefully lead to him achieving his BSc in Wildlife Conservation and Ecology. In addition to his studies Jack gained highly relevant   experience working part-time as a zoo keeper at our Animal Centre, helping to look after our fish department.

Jack, who is particularly keen to improve the living conditions of fish in aquaria, applied for his scholarship independently while working for his degree.

He said:  “I was really surprised but delighted when my project proposal was chosen. I am really looking forward to working with UFAW. Reaseheath has played  an integral part in building my passion for aquatic life and furthering my career .”

Helen Kay, Higher Education Support Team (HEST) Leader, said: “Jack is definitely one to watch for the future. As well as working to the highest level for his degrees, he always found time to help, educate and inspire less experienced students. The HEST team is convinced he will go to the very top in his career.”

Discussing vet nursing as a potential career option with students

Careers event helps prepare students for next steps

The animal management department have been equipping students for their next steps by hosting a careers event on campus.

On the 5th June, employers such as PDSA, Dogs Trust, Global Support Services and Pets at Home to name a few, gave up their own time coming from various areas, including Colchester, to visit the department and talk to our students about their potential career options. A total of 19 employers participated in this event, which ran throughout the day.


The Dogs Trust ready to share careers advice

The Dogs Trust ready to share careers advice

The event provided students with invaluable advice and guidance on a diverse range of relevant industries and proved a great opportunity to network with local and national employers.

As a result of the success of this year’s event, we hope to have secured a number of additional employers to work with the department through our employer mentor programme, fantastic news for our student groups!

Discussing vet nursing as a potential career option with students

Discussing vet nursing as a potential career option with students

All of the employers had positive comments about the event and mentioned that they really enjoyed sharing their tips and advice with students. Feedback from students was also been extremely positive, all saying that they found the event very useful.

Students get a taste of army careers prospects

Students get a taste of army careers prospects

It was also great to welcome back former student, Tony Haskell, who represented Cheshire East Council on the day. Tony shared his career progress with students and explained how he is now an Apprentice Environmental Health Technical Officer with Cheshire East.

Overall, the event was a huge success for all involved!.

Danny Willan

Animal Management, Lecturer/Course Manager

Katie Acutt Above & Beyond Awards square

Lecturer goes above and beyond for students

Reaseeath HE lecturer Katie Acutt, University of Chester's Above and Beyond Award finalist

Reaseeath HE lecturer Katie Acutt, University of Chester’s Above and Beyond Award finalist

Reaseheath Higher Education (HE) lecturer, Katie Acutt, has been recognised for her excellent teaching and support skills at a recent awards evening.

Katie was nominated in University of Chester’s annual Above and Beyond Awards, which recognises excellent teaching and support services.

Short-listed for the ‘Most Inspirational Lecturer’ award, Katie was one of only five finalists out of 134 other nominees in this category. She joined other fellow finalists nominated for various other accolades at a showcase evening, held at the University of Chester on Tuesday 9th June.

All Above and Beyond Award categories were voted for entirely by students and this is the first time that a member of our HE faculty has been short-listed.

Said  Kizzy Beaumont, Reaseheath HE lecturer and Course Manager: “The event was very successful and was a pleasure to witness students’ appreciation of staff commitment and dedication towards student success. This nomination is a credit to Katie’s support and commitment to students and the success of the newly established HE Faculty.”

The Above and Beyond Awards are hosted in conjunction with University of Chester’s Student Union and has been running since 2013.

One Foundation Degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare student commented: “Katie is a brilliant lecturer and a great tutor. She continuously goes above and beyond to aid her students with their work. If you need help Katie is the one to turn to!”