Student in action during the competition

Forestry and Arb students climb their way to success

Level 3 Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture students reached new heights at the UK finals of the College Climbing Competition, held at the Arboricultural Association’s (AA) ARB Show last week.

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.

Student in action during the competition

One student in action during the climbing competition

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.

Students Leigh Dewey James Walsh and Sam Watkiss celebrate their achievements

Students Leigh Dewey James Walsh and Sam Watkiss celebrate their achievements

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.”

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