Level 3 students from our Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Conservation and Wildlife Management programme gained unique research experience during an inaugural study tour to the Isle of Skye.
Congratulations to our first year Level 3 Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture students who took first place at the annual 3ATC (Arboricultural Association Arborist Tree Challenge) Northern College Climbing Competition – winning £250 worth of climbing equipment for the college!
Our second year students, who also competed, did themselves proud by taking second place in competition.
The annual climbing competition took place on 20th April and was held at Askham Bryan College and saw our students compete against five other teams.
Students will be competing again at the Southern College Climbing Competition Team Event on the 11th May at Warwickshire College.
Game Management students recently benefited from the expertise of Liam Bell, head gamekeeper at Millichope Park, Shropshire.
Liam, who is Regional Chair of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and the author of ‘On Your Shoot’, a practical guide to creating and managing gamebird shoots, took the students through the shooting year during a visit to the estate. The students gained practical tips on rearing birds, the management of woodland and cover crops and the organisation of a commercial shoot day.
- Our students are also very involved with the local shooting and conservation community, helping with numerous pheasant and partridge shoots and on a grouse moor in the Peak District by beating in the season and completing habitat work and pest control outside the season
Countryside students have been tasked with revitalising an outdoor learning area for a Stoke-on-Trent primary school as part of their community project work.
Our second year Level 3 Forestry and Arboriculture students rose to the challenge and are currently redeveloping Scholar Green Primary School’s woodland area, pond dipping-platform, steps and will be creating a wildlife trail.
So far students have cleaned the school’s stream and removed some damaged trees from the surrounding areas. They are now in the process of building the pond ‘dipping platform’ in an area that will also include log seats so Scholar Green pupils can benefit from outdoor teaching and learning sessions.
Next on the job list for our students is constructing a footpath and replacing and repairing some steps that will lead to the new woodland area.
With the project on target for completion by the end of this term, the school are really pleased with the progress so far. Head teacher Lyndsey Colman was so impressed by the recent progress that on their last visit students were presented with a donation of equipment as a thank you for their hard work!
Mrs Colman also commented in the school’s newsletter: “The work that Reaseheath have conducted to date is amazing and we can’t wait to get our woodland into a working area for the children.”
Work is well underway…so we’ll keep you posted on progress!
In the spirit of Christmas, Twm Brunton is treating students and staff to an extraordinary carol concert on Tuesday 15th December.
Starting at 12pm, Twm will be dressing up as a fairy and singing some classic Christmas songs from the top of the Reaseheath’s 100ft Redwood tree on main lawn, all in aid of the charity, Disaster Arborist Response Team (DART).
DART deploys teams of highly trained volunteers to disaster zones across the world to support with environmental relief efforts.
As a former Level 3 Forestry and Aboriculture student Twm is keen to raise awareness of the vital work that DART undertakes and is hoping to raise a £1,000 for the charity.
Please show your support by coming to see Twm’s performance and help him raise raise £1,000 for DART.
You can sponsor Twm on the day or by visiting his Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/Twm-Brunton/
With a plan to revitalise their under 18s practice area, the cricket club called upon our countryside department for help in tidying up some overhanging lime trees.
Sixteen second year forestry and arboriculture students worked on the project cutting back and crown lifting the tree branches to make more space for the junior cricket players to train.
After doing an excellent job, students were presented with specialist saw pods for the college, as a thank you for all their hard work.
Reaseheath’s Forestry and Arboriculture Course Manager Alan Mottram said: “It was a great opportunity for the students to put their skills developed at college into a real-life situation. They all did and marvellous job and we got some great feedback from the club.”
Game Management students will be able to learn more about managing habitat for game birds thanks to a donation of game cover seed from Kings, UK and European specialists in game cover, conservation and cover crops.
Our Countryside Department has received enough Poacher maize, Campaign Mix and Moir Mix to cover five acres of land. The seed will be grown across nine plots on the college farm and will deliver great shooting value according to game management course manager Matt Goodall.
Our game management students will establish the crops in the next few weeks, eventually using them to run a shoot day as one of their assessments. The crops will be managed by around thirty students over the next two years. The project will help them to recognise how the different species of game cover work for birds such as pheasants and partridges by providing feed, shelter and safe areas.
Matt explained: “The crops are a really useful teaching resource. Rather than me talking about them in a lesson and explaining their benefits alongside pictures, we can actually go outside and look at them in the ground. This is really important because we’re preparing students for what they will encounter in industry during their future careers.
“The students will be involved in the whole process, from selecting the correct farm equipment and herbicides to choosing the best location for the crops. This knowledge will help them achieve their ultimate aim of rearing the best birds for the day and getting the best possible shooting from the site. At the same time they’ll learn about the conservation aspects involved and how Kings’ crops contribute to this too.
“Meehal Grint, our contact at Kings, has been really helpful. As well as arranging the donation, he has visited the college to talk to students about the role these crops play in game management.”
Meehal Grint, central technical advisor at Kings, said: “Reaseheath’s game management students are the future custodians of our countryside and playing a part in their education is important to Kings. The seed we’ve donated will be accompanied by the expert advice throughout the season that all our growers receive. We look forward to working with the college to help the students really benefit from it.”
For further details on the seed and advice offered by Kings visit: www.kingscrops.co.uk
Our team of second year students were crowned UK College Climbing Champions in Group 2 (less than two years practical climbing experience) while our first year team were second in Group 1 (less than one year’s experience). The AA runs these two annual climbing competitions exclusively for students, with the aim of advancing climbing practice and safety within the industry.
Each team consisted of three students, who had to climb to targets on the outer limbs of 60ft trees, in the process demonstrating branch walking and a log toss to a target area. The students were judged on three criteria: time, safety and best practice.
Our Group 2 winners were Leigh Dewey, James Walsh and Sam Watkiss while the Group 1 runners-up were Ben Worthington, Jay Fogg and Ben Lacy.
We qualified for the final, held at the National Arboretum in Gloucester, after success in the 3ATC Northern and Southern Climbing Competitions in Yorkshire and Devon. As well as team success in the southern heat, Reaseheath’s James Fogg was awarded an individual prize for being the fastest first year climber of the day.
This is our first year on the competition circuit and, needless to say, Course Manager Alan Mottram and his students are delighted at their success.
Said Alan: “This was a fantastic result for the boys who before this year had not entered any competitions – and a very well deserved win! These students are looking to enter the industry as tree climbers and these competitions have given them a fantastic networking opportunity as well as gaining some great experience.”
On 29th April, two teams of first and second year Forestry and Arboriculture students became the first Reaseheath College students to enter the annual 3ATC Arborist Tree Challenge held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
With this being the first time teams from the College have entered the competition, the students did not know exactly what to expect. The competition tested students’ ability and skills learnt on their course in a range of ways in keeping with industry best practice.
Competitors were required to climb to given targets located on the outer limbs of 60ft trees, and in the process had to demonstrate branch walking and a log toss to a given target area. Students were judged on three main criteria: time, safety and best practice.
At the end of a long day the first year students achieved second place, narrowly missing out on the top spot by just 3 seconds! The second year students finished fourth with only 4 minutes separating them from the top three teams.
First year students: Ben Worthington, Ben Lacey, James Fogg with Charlie Williams in reserve and acting as ‘motivational shouter.’
Second year students: Leigh Dewey, James Walsh, Sam Watkiss and Christian Roots in reserve and acting as ‘chief photographer’
This is a fantastic result for the students, they were a credit to the College and their course. They all received very positive feedback from the organisers and other colleges involved. Well done to all, we’ll be back next year…!
By Alan Mottram, Forestry and Arboriculture Course Manager
Fishery management students were recently treated to industry insights from a leading fish feed manufacturer.
Alan Bowhill, Marketing Manager for Skretting visited the College from the Shetland Isles to deliver a guest lecture on the science underpinning fish nutrition.
This was a great opportunity for students to learn more about the feed industry and technical processes involved in developing innovating fish feed products.
To find our more about our level 3 diploma is fish management click here.