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The latest news from Reaseheath College

Issue 20

Reaseheath gets royal seal of approval R

easeheath celebrated its greatest honour in a series of national accolades when Her Majesty the Queen officially opened two world class buildings at our premier specialist college. The buildings are part of a continuing £40 million investment which have brought cutting edge technical resources and teaching facilities to our Nantwich, Cheshire, campus. Her Majesty opened Centrepoint, Reaseheath’s £3 million learning resource and student services centre, where she met the teams who provide learning support, care and guidance for our 7000 students. Her Majesty also opened our new, international standard, indoor riding arena and viewed practical demonstrations of equine science, equine therapy and natural horsemanship at our Equestrian Centre. A few days later we received a letter confirming how much her Majesty had enjoyed meeting our staff and students and how she had been particularly impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm. See pages 2, 3 and 4 for a full report of Reaseheath’s royal visit.

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The Queen enjoys her Reaseheath Experience

q Joe Davison rides in front of Her Majesty and guests

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Queen enjoys Reaseheath Experience Another year of success

Her Majesty the Queen received a rousing reception from Reaseheath students and staff when she visited our campus to officially unveil two new buildings. Flanked by crowds waving Union Jack flags, our royal visitor toured specialist teaching resources and facilities which form part of a continuing £40 million investment. Dressed in an attractive salmon pink outfit with a black trimmed hat and looking relaxed and happy, the Queen frequently stopped to admire students’ work and seemed genuinely interested in her Reaseheath Experience. Her Majesty opened Centrepoint, our new £3 million learning resource and student services centre, where she met the teams who provide learning support, care and guidance for our 7,000 students. As she toured our state-of-the-art library and study area, Her Majesty

admired facilities which include 20,000 books, videos, dvds and talking books and the cutting edge electronic self service system used by our students. She also heard about the emphasis which Reaseheath places on student welfare by providing one-to-one learning support and counseling when required. One student to enjoy a chat with the Queen was animal behaviour and welfare student Amy Bostow. Said Amy: “It was very exciting. I had never met a member of the Royal Family before. The Queen asked me about my course and how much I was enjoying studying at Reaseheath. I was a bit nervous but it was great to meet her.” Work by garden and landscape design students also caught Her Majesty’s eye. Sarah Hopkinson, Course Manager for Higher Education

p The Queen enjoys chatting to Principal Meredydd David after officially naming Centrepoint

Garden and Landscape Design, said: “The Queen was very interested in what our students are doing. We are involved with many community volunteers and schools and the Queen asked us a lot of questions. We also spoke about our community garden project in Northwich.” Her Majesty chatted to Foundation Degree in Garden and Landscape Design students Sian Bury and Karen Tonge, who were completing the design for the BBC North West Tonight garden at the RHS Show Tatton Park. Said Karen: “The Queen seemed genuinely interested in the design. She also asked about our course and wondered how we managed to balance study with our other t A royal reception from Reaseheath students

p Her Majesty with a college made bouquet


commitments as we are both mature students. “I told her that the course support was great but that my brain wasn’t working as quickly as when I took my first degree and she seemed very amused.” (Karen already has a BSc Degree in Textile Design). The Queen was invited to unveil a plaque by Principal Meredydd David, who said how thrilled he was to have Her Majesty in attendance. Describing the visit as a ‘once in a lifetime experience’, Reaseheath’s Director of Learning Services Peter Green added: “What an occasion! It has been great to celebrate the opening of the Centrepoint building with the Queen.”

q Her Majesty chats to Sian Bury and Karen Tonge, watched by Reaseheath’s Principal Meredydd David

issue 20 Reaseheath Equestrian Centre received royal approval when its new indoor arena was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen. Her Majesty watched an advanced dressage display by equine student Joe Davison, who was riding his father’s Olympic partner Hiscox Artemis. Her Majesty entered the arena and talked animatedly to Joe, to his father Richard, who is Britain’s Olympic dressage team captain, and to the horse’s owner, the Countess of Derby. Joe is current British under 18 showjumping champion and had just helped the Under 21 GB team take gold in the first Young Rider Nations Cup event of the season. He is studying for a Foundation Degree in Equine Science, Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship with us. Joe said: “I think my demonstration went well. It was such an honour to perform in front of the Queen. We discussed my showjumping and Her Majesty was very interested in my horse.” Her Majesty also toured Reaseheath’s other equine facilities and seemed captivated by practical demonstrations of equine science, equine therapy and natural horsemanship. Equine instructor Christine Booth, who led a group studying the fine detail of the muscle system by drawing the muscles onto bay mare ‘Mo’ with chalk and face paint, said: “The Queen was very interested in what we were doing. She commented on how great it was for students to be able to learn equine science and that she wished she had been able to do that when she was younger!” Foundation Degree in Equine

Royal visitor for Equestrian Centre Science, Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship student Jo Cook, who was demonstrating massage on Friesian cross ‘Del Boy’, added: “I spoke to the Queen about muscle tension. I found her lovely to speak to and she acted very naturally.” Another student to chat to Her Majesty was Kim McMuldrow, who was carrying out a reiki healing session. She said: “The Queen seemed genuinely interested.” It was a particularly special occasion for Reaseheath yard technician Phillip Warren, who previously worked with ceremonial horses in the Royal Mews for the Queen. He said: “I think Her Majesty might have recognised me, although she has had so many employees - probably too many to remember! But it was an amazing experience to see the Queen here and gave us the opportunity to show off our new facilities, which are second to none.” As she concluded her visit, Her Majesty unveiled a chainsaw carved sculpture of two horses’ heads, created by artist Andy Hancock out of old English oak. Principal Meredydd David said: “It was a privilege and honour to welcome Her Majesty to Reaseheath Equestrian Centre. It is true recognition of the development and reputation of the college and its significant contribution to the national

p The Queen meets student Joe Davison (mounted), Richard Davison and the Countess of Derby

p The Queen unveils a carved horse statue watched by Joe Davison and Hiscox Artemis

equine industry. Her Majesty was very relaxed and really enjoyed meeting and chatting to students and staff.” • Reaseheath’s indoor arena is part of a recent £2.3 million investment into the college’s equestrian centre. Other new facilities include a purpose built round pen for natural horsemanship, American barn-style stabling and an equine solarium. t Her Majesty is reunited with Yard Technician Philip Warren (left)

• The 60m x 30m indoor arena has a synthetic Ecotrack Competition surface installed to international standard by Martin Collins Enterprises and is for hire outside college hours. It can seat up to 200 spectators and has an integrated public address system, two mirrored walls, a sound system for dressage to music and a judges’ box. For details about equine events or the hire of facilities contact Lettie Bardsley on 01270 616474.


A bouquet fit for The Queen


hen Reaseheath received news of the impending royal visit, floristry tutor Sarah Parker was tasked with creating a bouquet to be presented to the Queen. Focussing on Her Majesty’s fondness for the English country garden, Sarah created a classic hand-tied posy using local seasonal flowers. Explained Sarah: “I wanted to create a bouquet with a “cottagey” feel, simple, pretty and classically English”. The bouquet was in Her Majesty’s favourite summer colours of cream and green and included English roses, astrantias, alchemilla mollis and hosta leaves. In keeping with the royal passion for local homegrown produce, many of the flowers in the design were hand picked from Sarah’s own garden! Careful thought went into the flower and foliage selection, especially when it came to

colour. Recalled Sarah: “We knew that the Queen often wears lime green, so zingy alchemilla mollis seemed like a perfect choice. Its frilly texture contrasted really nicely with our velvety cream roses. We stayed away from white, which can look a little stark, and stuck to creams, greens and lilac to give a fresh, clean feel. “As a hand-tied bouquet is made in the hand, you can achieve a lovely natural shape with lots of natural movement and texture.” Sarah’s bouquet was set off to perfection by the salmon pink outfit worn by Her Majesty. It was presented by Katherine Smith, a Level 3 Diploma in Floristry student selected by tutors for her enthusiasm and attention to detail. Katherine said: “I am the luckiest person alive! I spoke to the Queen about what course I am doing and explained where the flowers came from. It was

Florist engineers new career

Fairytale finale for florists

Student Vicky Carr won an award at a national competition just months after starting a new career in floristry. Vicky, a Level 3 Diploma in Floristry student, worked as a civil engineer for eight years but decided to change to a career which allowed her more creativity. Her bold move has already paid off, as she took third place in the hotly contested students’ class in the British Florist Association’s annual show in Birmingham. The competition brief was to create floral jewellery for an adult bridesmaid and Vicky’s inventive necklace of aluminium rings dotted through with orchids, green chrysanthemums and


ornithogallums impressed the national panel of judges. Vicky said: “This was the first competition I had ever entered, so gaining a place came as a real surprise. I love learning floristry – it’s such a creative art. At college we learn how to make four or five different designs each week. It’s such a change from being desk bound in an office.” Vicky, who wants eventually to run her own business, attends college for three days a week and spends a fourth day on a work placement.

such an honour to meet her and she thanked me for the bouquet.” It was the second time Sarah had created a bouquet for a Reaseheath royal visit. When HRH The Prince of Wales toured our food department in 2005 it

Our florists’ creative entry for the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park had a fairytale result when their stunning interpretation of Alice in Wonderland won a silver medal. Lecturers Ruth Clarke, Sarah Parker and Sue Poole and students Jane Crowther, Dominique Noonan and Denise Staziker created a multi-coloured floral design of Alice’s arrival in wonderland, the mad hatter’s tea party and the battle between the good and bad queens. Jane, Dominique and Denise have completed their Level 3

p Sarah Parker and Katherine Smith with the royal bouquet

was Valentine’s Day and he had just announced his engagement to Camilla Parker-Bowles. On that occasion Sarah made a heart of deep red roses.

p Adrian Thomas with a flower design inspired by graffiti artist Banksy

Reaseheath’s winning floristry lecturers and students on the set of Alice in Wonderland


Diploma in Floristry. Another Level 3 student, Adrian Thomas, who is a partner in Verdure Floral Design, took a silver-gilt medal with an eye catching display honouring works by artists including Banksy, LS Lowry and David Hockney.

issue 20

Continuing investment gives Reaseheath the ‘wow’ factor R

easeheath is continuing with its ambitious programme to develop world class technical and educational resources across campus. An £11 million building programme started this Autumn will provide a National Food Centre of Excellence, a new skills centre for pre-entry and entry level students and, later in 2011, new adventure sport and horticultural facilities, expanded dining and recreational areas, a larger HE centre and a new agricultural and food interpretation centre. This further investment is in addition to the £30 million-plus which has been spent on 21st century buildings, educational resources and student accommodation over the past four years. Specialist buildings completed this year include the Eden International Dairy Academy and our new animal management centre - a total investment of £7 million for the two buildings. The new buildings are constructed to BREEAM requirements, which set the standard for best practice in sustainable design and environmental performance. Our campus expansion is due to our unprecedented success and growth. The investment has been supported by the North West Regional Development Agency and the government’s Skills Funding Agency.

p Bengal Eagle owl Ravi with bird keeper Leanne Lowton outside the new animal management training centre

Celebrity botanist backs Reaseheath’s inspirational teaching The important work which Reaseheath does to inspire all students, from primary schoolchildren to adults, by teaching them about the natural world was spelled out by internationally acclaimed botanist and natural historian David Bellamy OBE. The global environmental campaigner and television personality was at our college to dedicate a commemorative stone on our new £3 million animal management training centre. The new building includes specialist rooms for reptiles, amphibians and fish, accommodation for domestic animals, teaching and conference rooms and an impressive entrance to our zoo. It is the second phase of a major refurbishment which has already provided the department with a £1.5 million dog grooming parlour, laboratories and training facilities. After touring our animal centre, which caters for 800 students, houses over 1,000 animals and has a zoo licence, David Bellamy said: “Reaseheath really has the ‘wow’ factor. It is a wonderful place. You couldn’t find any better college to be a student. “It’s very important that we do all we can to preserve every species of plant and animal because we are losing them at an alarming rate.

Reaseheath is doing brilliant work to ensure people of all ages understand how important it is to look after the planet. I would urge other educational establishments to follow this college’s lead.” David Bellamy went on to plant an unusual Wollemi pine in the college grounds. Discovered in Australia just 16 years ago and previously unknown to science, the tree was selected to commemorate his work in helping to preserve rare species. He also entertained 30 pupils from St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Nantwich, who had been enjoying a day on campus looking at plants and animals, and gave an illustrated lecture to over 300 staff, students and visitors in a marquee on the college lawn. • Thanks to continuing investment, Reaseheath’s animal centre has the best resources of any educational institution in the UK. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) chose us as a venue for a three day conference for its Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group. The event was attended by UK-wide members including zoo curators, heads of sections, conservationists and zoo keepers plus some of our own experts.

 David Bellamy and students get close up and personal with one of our ring tailed lemurs

On the move While staff and students have been busy settling into their new accommodation, some of our animals have also been on the move. New arrivals to the Animal Centre include a pair of breeding Oriental short-clawed otters from Belfast Zoo and two male coatis from Stapeley Water Gardens. A new otter enclosure was designed and built by horticulture students, who are also developing a wallaby enclosure. The coati enclosure has been designed by animal management students as part of their project work.

A baby capybara and a muntjac fawn have been born at college and a large number of recently acquired fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and rodents have moved into purpose built accommodation. But it’s goodbye to one of our silvery marmosets, which has left for the Isle of Wight Zoo as part of the European Stud Book programme, and to a female cotton top tamarin which is off to Linton Zoo as part of an exchange programme.


World class dairy training centre unveiled


he Eden International Dairy Academy, our world class dairy training centre, was officially opened by North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) Chief Executive Steven Broomhead, The £2.7 million academy is fitted out with fully operational, industry standard processing facilities for milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter production. The training centre is the result of a unique collaboration between Reaseheath, the dairy industry and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing, who are working together to make the UK a world leader in dairy training. The build itself was partly funded by the NWDA and supported through industry sponsorship. The initiative, known as Project Eden, brought together leading

employers, trade bodies and skills specialists to address skills shortages within the food and drink industry. A key achievement has been the development of a globally recognised Foundation Degree in Dairy Technology, introduced at Reaseheath last year, to train future dairy production managers. The Project Eden trainees, who already work in the industry as dairy technologists, attend Reaseheath on block release and gain skills and experience in the academy. The trainees are employed by industry leaders including Robert Wiseman Dairies, Dairy Crest, Arla Foods, Muller Dairies, First Milk and Milk Link. The academy is also used by our food manufacture students and by the region’s food and drink manufacturers, primarily for new product development

Project Eden students and industry partners celebrate the academy opening

and diversification. Vice Principal Dave Kynaston said: “We are proud to be working with so many important partners in this project and to share the vision and passion which we all hold for the food manufacturing industry. There is no doubt that the Eden International Dairy Academy will be recognised as one of the best facilities in the world.”

Project Eden trainees celebrate first year success

Industry leaders back food centre of excellence Leading figures in the food and farming industries are backing Reaseheath’s plans to build a unique, world class, food processing centre. Our new Food Centre of Excellence, currently under construction, will have specialist equipment for the manufacture of all foods including dairy products, bakery and butchery. The factory-standard facilities will be used by our students and by north west businesses for new product development and trials Celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty and His Grace the Duke of Westminster were both at Reaseheath for the launch of the new build. Television personality Jimmy, a viewers’ favourite with Jimmy’s Farm and Jimmy’s Food Factory, is a leading campaigner for locally grown food. He paid tribute to Reaseheath’s vision in securing funding for the project and to our commitment to the food and farming industries. He said: “We desperately


 Successful: Kevin Yau, Kayleigh Brock and Matt Williams

need energetic, motivated new blood coming into agriculture if we are to keep up with the increasing demand for food in the face of a growing population. Reaseheath has created a fertile seed bed of future talent which will go some way towards filling this need. “The college stands out because it gives students the opportunity to follow the whole food journey from primary production right through to the finished product. You can watch a cow being milked and then see all

 The Duke of Westminster cuts the first sod of the new build applauded by Principal Meredydd David and celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty

the processes that the milk goes through to make yoghurt.” His Grace the Duke of Westminster unveiled a commemorative plaque and cut the first sod of turf. Patron of the local food champion ‘Made in Cheshire’, he said that he and his members owed a debt of gratitude to Reaseheath, to the NWDA and to other industry supporters who had made the state-of-the-art centre a reality.

Three Project Eden dairy trainees were in line for special honours after completing the first year of their Foundation Degree in Dairy Technology. Kevin Yau, who works for Robert Wiseman Dairies, was named Dairy Culture Student of the Year while Kayleigh Brock, an employee of Robert Wiseman Dairies, was chosen as Best Academic Student. Matt Williams, a team leader for Dairy Crest, was selected as Best Practical Student. “The first year of study has been very demanding,” said Matt. “Through a mix of practical tests and theory we have looked at the chemistry of milk, studied micro-biology and milk dairy derivatives - in fact everything from producing milk on the farm to putting it on the supermarket shelf. I feel that I have a much better, well-rounded, knowledge of the milk industry as a whole.”

issue 20

Reaseheath celebrates Cheshire Show successes R

easeheath’s action packed stand received a special award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to visitor enjoyment and learning at the county’s leading agricultural event, the Cheshire Show. Our exhibition impressed judges with the enthusiasm of our staff and students, its diversity of attractions and the efforts we made to educate visitors about food, farming and outdoor skills. Our activities included a climbing wall, a mechanical horse, bricklaying and planting seedlings. Our stand has scooped a rosette at the Cheshire Show for seven consecutive years. John Gittins, Chief Steward of the Rural Life area said: “Reaseheath sets the standards to which others aspire - the college is right at the top of the tree.” Principal Meredydd David, who is also Vice President of the Cheshire Agricultural Society, said: “Once again Reaseheath has excelled. This is obvious by the stream of visitors queueing to engage in the Reaseheath Experience.” Reaseheath Marketing Manager Glyn Ferriday said: “Attending good rural shows like these gives us a great opportunity to meet the public and demonstrate the huge range of vocational skills we offer. We are

very proud of the success of our students and this is a chance to show what they can do.” Among visiting celebrities were two actors from the long running BBC radio farming soap ‘The Archers’ - Charles Collingwood (Brian Aldridge) and Judy Bennett (Shula Archer). • Elsewhere on the showground Head of Agriculture Martyn East joined Jonny Hewitt, Cheshire county chairman of the National Farmers Union, in a cookery competition featuring local produce. The pair joined tv celebrity chef Nigel Brown on the Cheshire East stand ‘Love food, hate waste’. • Reaseheath agriculture students celebrated success in the cattle showring, where they prepared and produced three young rare breed Longhorn cattle for the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Ben Tunley, Erica Jackson, Tom Knowles, Charlotte Stening, Josh Booth-Millward and George Webster showed Jackie, Jinx and Jackdaw from the Gowy herd in the commercial Longhorn and rare breeds classes. It was a steep learning curve for both handlers and cattle, as both had made their ring debut only the week previously at the Three

 It’s show time for Ben Tunley, Erica Jackson and Tom Knowles with Gowy Jackie, Jinx and Jackdaw

 Martyn East (right) and Jonny Hewitt join celebrity chef Nigel Brown in a cook off

Counties Show, Malvern. Erica said: “This is the first time we’ve had a go at showing cattle so we’ve a lot to learn but it was great fun and everyone

was really helpful.” The Cheshire Wildlife Trust uses the cattle to maintain and improve plant and wildlife habitats through grazing.

Entrepreneurial young farmer to travel the globe An entrepreneurial young Cheshire farmer will travel the globe thanks to a scholarship organised through Reaseheath and presented at the Cheshire Show. Katy Waller, 33, a partner in her family’s business, Blaze Farm, Wildboarclough near Macclesfield, was this year’s winner of the £2,000 John Platt Travel Scholarship. She is responsible for making the farm’s ‘Hilly Billy’ range of ice creams and also manages the tea rooms, open farm educational days and nature trails. Katy is planning to use the scholarship to attend the Great Lakes Ice Cream and Fast Food Trade Show in Lansing, North America, which is the largest annual show in the world catering for ice cream operators. She also

intends to attend management courses in Europe and in the UK. She received the award from John Platt OBE, chair of Reaseheath Governors and former chair of the Cheshire Agricultural Society. Katy said: “Gaining the scholarship has given me a fantastic opportunity to mingle with professionals and to gain an insight into how they run their operations. I’m hoping to pick up tips on how to increase profit by cutting down on utility costs and to see if there are any new flavours I could introduce into my own range.” • The John Platt Scholarship is open to anyone aged between 18 and 35 who lives or works in Cheshire and is employed in agriculture or related industries.

Applications are being taken for next year. Contact Dave Kynaston on

01270 613243 or visit www. or www.

 Katy Waller receives her travel scholarship from John Platt (left) and Meredydd David at the Cheshire Show


Reaseheath is top of the tree at RHS Tatton T

here were celebrations all round after students and staff carried off top medals at the prestigious RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. A show garden built as a tribute to the inspirational teaching of Reaseheath lecturer Harry Delaney was awarded a gold medal one of just four handed over at the show. ‘A Plant Hunter’s Retreat’ was designed by RHS Advanced Certificate evening class students known collectively as

‘Harry’s Evening Stars’: Maile Belanger, Richard Bowser, Pauline Clarke, Colin Greenwood, Margaret Kewley, Peter ArmstrongChilds and Marc Brimble. Explained Pauline Clarke: “Harry is a source of energy and inspiration to many, so much so that he has been responsible for some people completely changing their lifestyle. We have all studied with him for a number of years and we have planned this garden as our tribute to him.” As well as being

 BBC North West Tonight weather presenter Dianne Oxberry forecasts the weather from Reaseheath’s garden

 Harry Delaney celebrates gold medal success with ‘Harry’s Evening Stars’

dedicated to Harry’s teaching, the garden celebrated the intrepid explorers of old who travelled far and wide in search of new and exciting species. Harry, who has worked for Reaseheath for 16 years and is an RHS Master of Horticulture, said: “I feel extremely proud and honoured to have had this garden built in my honour. For the students to achieve a gold medal shows just what a brilliant job they have done.” TV gardener Chris Beardshaw, who visited the garden, said: “This was one

of the outstanding gardens of the show. The build has been has been well executed and shows great attention to detail.” Reaseheath students and staff also designed and built a garden for BBC North West Tonight. This was the third consecutive year that Reaseheath has produced a garden for the popular regional news programme. ‘Journey of Discovery’ was a wheelchair friendly, sensory garden designed by higher level students in garden design and featured plants chosen for their perfume, touch or food value.

College hosts visit of prestigious horticulture group Members of one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious horticulture groups, The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, visited Reaseheath as part of a study tour of north west England. The group were welcomed to our award winning horticulture department by Principal Meredydd David and Head of Horticulture Iain Clarke. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners was first mentioned in City of London Corporation records in 1345 and ranks number 66 in order of precedence of livery companies in the City of London. The organisation promotes the art and practice of good gardening countrywide, supports related charitable activities and promotes the fellowship of gardening. It also brings together many of the top horticulturists in the UK. Current Master Dr Steven Dowbiggin is also Principal Designate of London’s Capel Manor horticultural college.


Chelsea win for apprentice Luke

 Dr Steven Dowbiggin plants a tree watched by Reaseheath staff and Worshipful Company of Gardeners members

He explained: “We are looking at gardens that were primarily designed and developed by one person and how they have been managed once that person has gone. “A key reason for our visit is that our first Principal, Peter Robinson, was head of horticulture at Reaseheath before he moved to Capel Manor and much of what has

happened at Capel Manor has been influenced by his experiences at Reaseheath.” To mark the visit Dr Dowbiggin planted an ornamental horse chestnut tree Aesculus x neglecta ‘Autumn Fire’. The group toured Reaseheath’s garden design studio and our model orchard and extensive greenhouses.

Horticulture apprentice Luke Wilson helped his employers win a coveted gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Luke, who works for Claire Austin Hardy Plants Ltd. in Shropshire, comes to college weekly to work towards his Level 2 Apprenticeship in Amenity Horticulture. He was one of the Claire Austin team who prepared, transported and set up a breathtaking display of over 100 irises at Chelsea. Said Luke: “People don’t realise how much detail goes into the planning and preparation of an exhibit for a show at this level. We worked for three days painting the display, making sure every flower was perfect and getting the heights right. It was awesome when we heard we’d got a gold medal. Everyone was really excited.” Claire Austin is the daughter of nationally acclaimed rose grower David Austin. Luke has been on the workforce for over two years and has gained a number of industry relevant qualifications at Reaseheath including certificates for spraying, manual handling and first aid. For further details of apprenticeships contact Reaseheath’s Work Based Learning team on 01270 613257

issue 20

RAG raises funds for children’s charity F

un loving students and staff raised almost £12,000 for charity thanks to RAG (Raising and Giving) events. An impressive cheque was handed over by members of the Students Union at the students’ summer graduation ball. Money raised this year goes to The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT), which offers fun and support to terminally ill, disabled and disadvantaged children from all over the North West. Total funds raised by Reaseheath students and staff over the past 20 years comes to over £153,000 - all benefiting local charities. Events included • Student Services Co-ordinator Mark Hardy completing the gruelling 26.2 mile Rome Marathon in a personal best time

of six hours three minutes. • Construction staff scaling the three peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 29 hours and student bricklayers and joiners climbing Snowdon (these two efforts alone raised £3,343.75 in sponsorship) • Sabbatical Student President Zoe Horleston doing a sky dive • A team walking the 32 mile Sandstone Trail from Frodsham to Whitchurch in a day • A raft race on the college lake • A team climbing the equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro on the indoor climbing wall Julie Gray, CAFT Community Fundraiser, said: “We are absolutely thrilled. This huge amount of money has exceeded all our expectations, particularly under the current financial climate. I can guarantee that this

 Chris Budd hands over a cheque to Julie Gray applauded by Students Union members

money will make a big difference to the lives of many children. “We have been hugely impressed at the activities the students and staff have arranged in order to raise

money. I would like to thank the whole college for its support. We’re a small charity and we can only continue to change lives thanks to our amazing supporters.”

Food students take a step back in time It was an era of flared trousers, union strikes and we still had the death penalty. But what really impressed our students was that in 1980 the latest electronic device was a desk calculator and that there were only three television channels! The revelations about everyday life 30 years ago came when the students, who are studying food, health and nutrition, were selected to open a time capsule discovered buried in a wall. The capsule and a brick laid by Irene Lea MBE on November 28th 1980 came to light during construction work at our world class, food processing centre. Objects included copies of the Daily Telegraph (cost 15p), a college prospectus, dairy photos and coins. Said student Charlotte Reed: “It

 Reaseheath food students Roger McCleery, Jack Hunt, Miriam Bateman, Charlotte Reed and Nick Blakemore catch up with the news in 1980

was really interesting to see student life 30 years ago. It was fun to see the flared trousers and chequered

shirts everyone wore and some of the hairstyles were a bit wacky. It was an honour to be asked to open the

capsule. It really brought to life what it was like in the 1980s - I felt like I was looking at a real bit of history.” A new time capsule filled with articles representing life in 2011 will be placed, along with the 1980s capsule, in the wall of our new Food Centre of Excellence. Said course manager Nick Blakemore: “This was a great opportunity for our students to get involved with Reaseheath’s history. Past members of staff who placed the original items in the capsule still have strong links with Reaseheath and we are hoping to involve them with what goes into the new capsule.”

Students prove they care for wild places Nearly 30 students who studied how to take responsibility for the natural environment have received the John Muir Discovery Award. The students, from our Adventure Sports and Foundation Studies in Sport departments, proved that they understood how to lessen their impact on surroundings while still enjoying outdoor activities. For their award, the adventure sports students explored isolated areas in Yorkshire and practised winter skills in Scotland, North Wales and rural Cheshire. The Foundation

Studies students walked and canoed the 32 mile Sandstone Trail in different seasons. Explained tutor Richard Hathway: “The students studied the impact activities have on the outdoors. It is very important that young people become connected with wild places. The more they have stewardship of the land, the more they will look after it for future generations. We have a real need to conserve wild places for the enjoyment of all communities and to understand how to manage them sustainably.”

Environmental awards for adventure sports


Students celebrate exceptional success O

ur students celebrated yet another year of exceptional success at our annual graduation and awards ceremony. Record numbers of higher and further education students achieved qualifications – a reflection of our growing reputation both nationally and internationally. We have nearly 7,000 students from over 110 local authorities and from over a dozen countries studying with us. While some students had gained regional and national accolades, Principal Meredydd David also underlined the emphasis that Reaseheath puts on encouraging contribution to society. Guest speakers at the awards ceremony were Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Leader of Cheshire East Council and John Stephens, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Verity Taylor, Vice President of the Students Association, was chosen as the student making the best all round contribution to the college. Verity, who graduated with a BSc Degree in Equine Science, was applauded for the way she had led her team to put on successful events such as the student summer ball and the college carol service, and for the excellent example she had set for fellow students.

Tom Mathers, an Entry Level 2 student, was awarded the Beacon Trophy celebrating excellence. Tom received the accolade for his tremendous achievements in working towards independence and for his enthusiasm and involvement in all aspects of college life. A keen football player, he has been on tour with the Special Olympics team, playing on the winning side in several international matches and has been selected to represent GB at the Special World Games in Athens in 2011.

Nigel Johnson received the college award for contributing most to the college’s sporting activities. Nigel, who completed his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Performance and Excellence), hopes to launch a successful football career in the USA. Team captain of Reaseheath’s premiership league mens’ football team, Nigel was selected for the way he has motivated not only his own team, but also the college’s second and third men’s football teams, the ladies’ football team and the rugby and netball teams.

Lionel Smith, who completed his Foundation Degree in Adventure Sports Management, was singled out for personal qualities. He is recognised for being a gregarious and fun character, who used his experience of working in the outdoor industry to good effect in his studies, and by helping and supporting his fellow students. Lionel has also shown himself to be a valuable member of the Reaseheath student body by representing their interests on the College Board and by acting as a student ambassador. He has since been appointed full time Sabbatical Student President for the current academic year.

Special awards for outstanding students Five outstanding students were selected to receive the annual cross college awards. Christopher Budd, who completed his Foundation Degree in Food Industry Management and is currently spending a further year with us gaining his honours degree, was selected as the student making the best contribution to college life. As RAG chairman, he had taken responsibility for arranging many charity activities. He plays rugby for both Reaseheath and for Stoke rugby club, and is an active member of the Territorial Army.


issue 20

Principal Award Winners Entry Certificates Mark Droogan (Best Overall Student); Claire Madeley (Most improved student)

Mark Droogan and Claire Madeley

Foundation Certificates Sarah Hill (Best overall student); animal care: Aston Edwards (Best student, group A); David Thompson-Mayers (Best student group B); Emma Williams (Best student group C); Callum Mitchell (Best student, agriculture and countryside); Alison Mitchell (Best student, equine studies); Philip Dropala (Best overall student, horticulture); Alun Jones (Most improved student, engineering); Colin Potts (Best student, engineering); Adam Collis (best student, sports) Animal Care First Diploma Harry Adams (Best group ‘A’ student); Gordon Collier (Best group ‘B’ student); Amber Kenny (Best group ‘C’ student); David Stanley (Best group D student); Carl Rafferty (Most improved student Church Farm) Animal Management National Certificate Adam Forrest (Best practical student); Chris Parker (Highly commended); Sean Rooney (Best student, National Award) National Diploma Claire Thomas (Best academic student); Jack Wootton (Best

Claire Thomas

practical student); Anneka Burek (Merit Award for best scientific project) Construction Level 1 Diploma in Brickwork Jack Pugh (Best overall bricklayer); Daniel Rowland (Most improved); Philip Blackwell (Students’ student) Level 2 Diploma in Brickwork Jonathan Dooley (Best student) Level 3 Diploma in Brickwork Richard Stockton (Best student) Level 1 Diploma Carpentry and Joinery Philip Langley (Best overall joiner); Christopher Mapp (Most improved) Level 2 Diploma Site Carpentry William Shuttleworth (Best overall joiner) Business National Diploma Alice Hughes (Best student)

Floristry Level 2 Diploma Floristry Hannah Bebbington (Best student); Philip Stanworth (Most improved student) Level 3 Diploma Floristry Dominique Noonan (Best student) Katherine Smith (Most improved student) Horticulture First Diploma Thomas McAllister (Best student); William Cummings (For endeavour) National Certificate Beverley Moon (Best student)

Bev Moon, BALI prize winner

Alice Hughes

Events Management National Diploma Ceri Strachan (Best student) Adventure Sport First Diploma Lewis Cowe (Best student) National Certificate Jeremy Hawksworth (Best student) National Diploma Graeme Haigh (Best student) Sport (Performance and Excellence) First Diploma George Gorse (Best student) National Diploma Danielle Fisher (best student) Horse Studies First Diploma Hollymay Reid (Best student); Ellis Slater (Most improved student); Thomas Edwards (Croft End Equestrian Centre Award) National Diploma Kate Nicklin (Best student) National Award Alanna Robinson (Croft End Equestrian Centre Award)

Robin Wardell (For endeavour) National Diploma Adam Fitzsimmons (Best student); Leuan Townley (Most improved student); Robert Barton (Best landscape student) Environmental Conservation National Certificate David Ambridge (Best student);

John Culley (Best practical student) Engineering: Land Based Technology First Diploma Sean Griffiths (Best student); Henry Jones (For endeavour); Richard Heathcote (Best practical student) National Diploma Benjamin Lea (Best student); Damien Mooney (Best practical student); Guy Davies (For endeavour) Motor Vehicle Technology First Diploma Jack Blake (Best student); Pawel Grabowski (Best practical student) National Diploma Thomas Ashwin (Best student) Agriculture Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers Robert Cooke (Best dairy student) First Diploma Emma-Louise Smith (Best student) National Certificate Joshua Booth-Millward (Best student); William Lawder (Best practical student); James Payne (Endeavour and progress) National Diploma Joanne Lloyd (Best student); William Emmott (Best student, livestock production); Joseph Goodwin (Best student, crop production Dairy Herd Management Stuart Cox (Best overall student); Kirsty Belfield (Best academic student); Stuart Cox (Best bank exercise); Jack Percival (Most progress) Mixed Farming Thomas Woodfield (Best practical student) Food Health and Nutrition National Diploma Rachel Frankish (Best student); Benjamin Lloyd (Best student contribution to the food department)

David Ambridge

Jane Lucas (Best practical student) Countryside Management Advanced National Certificate Jamie Stevenson (Best student); Zak Wilkinson (Best practical student) Forestry and Arboriculture National Award Simon Kimber (Best student)

Benjamin Lloyd and Rachel Frankish

First Diploma is renamed Level 2 Diploma. National Certificate is now Level 3 Diploma. National Diploma is now Level 3 Extended Diploma


Reaseheath heroes with ‘Star’ appeal T

he unsung heroes of Reaseheath have been honoured for their outstanding contribution to the our college’s success. Teams and individual members judged to have ‘gone the extra mile’ from a total of 500 college staff have received Awards of Excellence. The awards are handed over annually in recognition of the highest levels of professionalism, commitment and dedication. All nominations come from colleagues. The overall STAR Award, for the staff member judged to have made the most outstanding contribution of the year, went to Marketing Manager Glyn Ferriday. Glyn, who has been head of the college’s busy marketing team for three years, was singled out for his drive and enthusiasm. It was felt that his willingness to seize opportunities and ability to lead his team forward had made a phenomenal, positive, impact on Reaseheath’s business. Glyn also took the Growth and Development award. He said: “I was very pleased and proud to get the STAR award. The award reflects the huge effort put in by the marketing team to support every department in the college.” Other ‘stars’ to receive awards were: • Horticultural lecturer Harry Delaney, given The People’s Award for his efforts to support students and colleagues by consistently going out of his way to provide help, advice and guidance. Harry has been on Reaseheath’s horticultural team for 16 years. He is an RHS Master of Horticulture and frequently judges and lectures at national level.

The People’s Award: Harry Delaney


• Equine yard manager Kim Bailey, who took the Leadership Award for her key role in setting up a world class team of staff to care for the college’s 58 horses and to supervise students. Kim was formerly with the Manchester Metropolitan Mounted Police and is qualified in accountancy, management and leadership as well as holding high level equestrian qualifications.

between managing student behaviour and promoting a supportive and caring environment. The team is responsible for running the

college’s busy social schedule, which includes a wide choice of sports and leisure activities, fund raising events and the student summer ball.

STAR Award: Glyn Ferriday with Dave Kynaston, Vice Principal

Leadership Award: Kim Bailey with Steve Roach, Equine section Head

Education Excellence Award: the Engineering team

Customer Service Award: Student Services team

Diversity Award: Peter Muirhead

• Instructor in Foundation Studies Peter Muirhead, who received the Diversity Award for his continuing efforts to inspire staff to make Reaseheath an organisation that respects difference and celebrates diversity. Peter helps students to work through issues, enabling them to become happy, safe and successful on both their course and in their social life. • Staff of the Engineering department, who received the team award for Education Excellence. Graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for the third time, Reaseheath Engineering is nationally recognised as delivering high quality training and offering a responsive and professional service to employers. This year, a record 732 students have been trained by the department. • The Student Services Team, given the Customer Service Award for successfully achieving the difficult balance

issue 20

Reaseheath purchases world class dairy herd R

easeheath has further strengthened its position as one of the UK’s premier agricultural colleges by purchasing the world class Genus MOET dairy herd. The Genus herd, renowned as one of the highest genetic merit herds in the world, has been based with us for the past ten years. We have now taken the opportunity to purchase the 300 head dairy herd and around 100 youngstock and will wholly own and manage the herd. Experienced Genus staff currently working with the herd will be retained and become part of Reaseheath’s team. Principal Meredydd David said: “This major investment is yet another indication of Reaseheath’s emphasis on delivering world class agricultural education and training and further cements its position as one of the leading agriculture and dairy production education centres in the UK.

“The purchase will enable all the further and higher education students studying agriculture and dairy production with us to benefit from hands-on technical and management experience with one of the best herds in the world. It will further enhance our students’ experience and prepare them well for a successful future in the industry. “The partnership between Reaseheath and Genus has worked exceedingly well for both businesses over the past ten years - the college for educational purpose and Genus for its breeding and promotional requirements. Reaseheath and Genus will continue to work closely together for the benefit of the industry and students. The purchase was also welcomed by John Platt, Chair of Reaseheath Governors, who said: “This considerable investment gives our students the very unique opportunity to see and study the MOET herd. They will be

 The new milking parlour at Reaseheath

in the fortunate position of being able to study the herd’s total management, the science of diet feeding to complement grazing and the balance of breeding by choosing the correct sire.” The purchase of the Genus MOET herd is in addition to a recent £2.5 million investment into the dairy and livestock facilities at Reaseheath’s on-campus farm, which have included a state-of-the-art milking parlour and an RSPCA high welfare standard 130 sow breeding unit.

Reaseheath’s sheep flock best in Cheshire Our commercial sheep flock has won a county-wide accolade by taking one of the top prizes in the Cheshire Farms Competition. The award of best entry in the sheep flock category particularly delighted Sheep Unit Manager Matthew Bagley as the win is seen as prestigious recognition within the farming industry. Explained Matthew: “The Cheshire Farms Competition was set up and is judged by farmers and is extremely well respected within the industry. “A first prize in this competition means that the way we manage this flock is regarded as top class. It confirms that our students are learning best practice and that they are then taking that knowledge and expertise back into the industry

when they take up employment. “The judges looked at every aspect of the enterprise, from marketing to the breeding policy. I was absolutely delighted when I heard we had won. This is a very prestigious prize indeed.” Said Ian Garnett, Chairman of Cheshire Farms Competition: “Success at our competition is regarded with tremendous respect. Winners must display extremely high levels of

 Matthew Bagley with Reaseheath’s prize winning sheep flock

animal husbandry and stock management, combined with a keen eye for detail. You must also show sound business skills evidenced by commercial figures showing a healthy enterprise with a good annual return.” Our 500 breeding ewes lamb in March, providing the focus for our popular lambing weekends.

Call on farmers to support the next generation Our agricultural department is calling on farmers to invest in the industry’s next generation by inviting our students onto their farms. We aim to extend our farm visit programme because the shared experiences help students gain a more relevant and comprehensive overview of the industry. Explained Head of Agriculture Martyn East: “Although we have a very well resourced college farm, we need to continue to expand our students’ practical experiences and business knowledge. It is essential that they understand the bigger picture and have the knowledge and skills to carry agriculture forward. We are passionate and committed to providing a professional workforce for the future. We would like farmers to support us and offer their farms as a learning environment for our students.” Ideally, farms have a practical task which could involve up to 12 students, overseen by a trained and experienced tutor. Tasks could include moving, handling and weighing stock, disbudding, vaccinating and veterinary checks. Invitations involving new technology such as robotic milking parlours and anaerobic digestion plants, organic and beef farming and business diversification would be particularly welcomed. Contact: Martyn East on 01270 613179 /


Healthy herb trial for happy horses P

re-entry students are hoping to tickle the tastebuds of horses with a selection of common herbs. The students, who are studying horse care as part of their programme, have planted a selection of herbs reputed to be natural remedies. They plan to run a trial next year to see if products from the herbs will promote well being in equines. The herbs include nettles, dandelions, garlic, mint, comfrey and rosemary - all of which grow naturally in unimproved pasture and have been used to boost human and animal health for centuries. Explained Instructor Lisa Brewitt, who is taking the lead on the pilot scheme: “Horses in the UK tend to be stabled or turned out onto managed pastures which don’t have the range of herbs a wild horse would find in its natural environment. We are very interested to see whether any products we make will have a beneficial effect on horses’ wellbeing. The students plan to make teas which can be added to feed plus a selection of skin washes, creams and leg wraps. They will collect photographic evidence

and use general observation to gauge whether the trial has been a success. Said student Chris Abbott: “I didn’t know anything about horses before so this is a new challenge for me. It’s very exciting and I’m keen to see if the horses like our nettle tea.” One horse which won’t be too bothered about the results is Elvis, a newly purchased life sized statue which is being used to safely introduce students with special needs to horse care before they try their skills on a live animal. Elvis takes part in practical sessions, where he adds to the quality of teaching and learning by enabling students to learn how to approach and handle horses safely and correctly. The pre-entry department were helped to purchase Elvis by Carol Chandler of Nantwich Saddlery, who also donated his stable rug and head collar.  l-r Darren Clare, Sarah Longworth, Simone Roberts, Chris Abbott and instructor Lisa Brewitt tend to their herb garden, watched by Elvis the horse

Rhian rides high thanks to Reaseheath course

Top marks for dressage riders Dressage riders Ruth Murphy and Lucy McKeown were top of the leader board after a series of unaffiliated dressage competitions at Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre. Awards for the most successful combinations of the season went to Ruth and her horse Teddy, who took the Ashworth Memorial Trophy while Lucy and her pony Lady Lulu won the Sweet Meadow Horse Feeds Trophy for the top competitor in the restricted section. Ruth and Teddy, an 11 year-old bay Belgian warm blood gelding, have been regular competitors at our preliminary and novice level dressage competitions. Ruth said: “This is my hobby and my main aim is to have fun. That’s why I enjoy going to Reaseheath. The atmosphere is brilliant - you feel really welcome. The competitions are well organised and the judging is to a good standard.”


Lucy and her 12 year-old bay mare have been concentrating on the introductory and preliminary level tests. Lucy hopes to study equine science and natural horsemanship at Reaseheath after she leaves school. A series of 15 unaffiliated dressage competitions are underway for the 2010/11 season. Up to six classes will be offered, ranging from introductory (walk and trot) to elementary level, and using both short and long arenas. British Dressage affiliated competitions are also held at Reaseheath. A new series of unaffiliated showjumping competitions are also on offer, along with a full programme of short courses, clinics and lecture demonstrations. Further details see Phone 01270 616474 or Email

 Lucy McKeown and Lady Lulu (picture Gemineye Photography)

 Ruth Murphy and Teddy receive their trophy

(picture Gemineye Photography)

King’s Grove School, Crewe, pupil Rhian Wynter was riding high after receiving a trophy for top student on her horse care course. Rhian was one of over 100 Key Stage 4 pupils from secondary schools throughout Cheshire and Staffordshire who successfully completed vocational qualifications at Reaseheath. The pupils attend college weekly while continuing to study for conventional GCSEs at school. They can choose to study horse care, horticulture, agriculture, construction, engineering or animal care as part of the Vocational Opportunities Programme and gain a City & Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Land Based Studies. Said Reaseheath’s Pre 16 Learning Manager Graham Morgan: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people in their final two years at school to receive a practical, work-related experience as part of the Key Stage 4 curriculum.”

issue 20

Hopes for golf partnership in Greece S

enior sports turf lecturer Gareth Phillips and Head of Horticulture Iain Clarke have been in Greece finalising what we hope will be our first outreach centre in Europe. Gareth and Iain have been in meaningful talks with Porto Carras Golf and Country Club in Sithonia, Northern Greece, into the possibility of providing on site training and on-line tutorials for greenkeeping staff who want to gain a European recognised qualification. The potential students work for Porto Carras, a luxury resort with a five star hotel, premium golf course, marina and other sporting facilities. There is also interest in the training scheme from other golf courses in the region. Students would gain a Work Based Diploma Level 2 in Greenkeeping.

 Gareth Phillips and Assistant Golf Manager George Chasapis on the Porto Carras golf course

Gareth and Iain were invited to exploratory talks at the resort while it hosted the Porto Carras Open Pro Am golf competition. The relationship has since developed and there are hopes that a contract

will be signed shortly. Gareth is also negotiating with the resort’s owners and local hoteliers to set up a similar programme for hotel staff who maintain the grounds and gardens. Said Gareth: “This is a fantastic

opportunity for Reaseheath to be recognised for its world class excellence in training and educating the greenkeepers of the future. The management at Porto Carras really appreciate the need for staff to update their skills and formalise their knowledge. The golf market is really developing in Europe and there is a growing interest in training needs. “Another positive spin-off for Reaseheath students is the potential for cross fertilisation of knowledge and for study tours and student exchange.” Reaseheath already has a strong international link with Guelph University in Ontario, Canada, and North Carolina State University. Gareth has lectured at these institutions on several occasions.

Reaseheath hosts intercollege golf tournament Sports turf students and staff prepared our onsite golf course to perfection for the British College Sport north west regional qualifying competition. The qualifier attracted 40 golfers from colleges across the north west and included our own Martin Thomas and Anthony Wyn-Jones, both Level 3 Diploma (Sport Performance and Excellence) students. Winners of the 18 hole competition were Abbie Cowlard from Stockport College (female category) and Sean Blinkhorn from Priestley College (male category). The top four students in the two sections, who included Martin Thomas, will go on to the national final next April. All competitors were full of praise for the high quality of the course and the organisation of the event, which was put together and run by Kevin Cunningham, lecturer in the Sports Studies department.

 Jake Sandham from Eccles College takes a swing watched by Head Greenkeeper James Grundy, Assistant Greenkeeper Simon Hewitt and Level 3 Extended Diploma Horticulture (sports turf) students Tom McCallister and Seb Tame

National Trust wardens and gardeners graduate National Trust trainee countryside wardens and gardeners have graduated from the charity’s flagship careership training programme. The trainees, who work at historic properties nationwide, completed a tailormade, three year training programme run in partnership between the National Trust and Reaseheath. The trainees attend college on block release. Their training continues in the workplace from their managers and from Reaseheath tutors, who visit to assess their progress. The careership scheme for gardeners is supported by the National Garden Scheme. Special awards went to Anna Derrett of Chastleton House, Moreton-in-Marsh (National

 Top National Trust trainees Anna Derrett, Fiona Braithwaite, Rachel Forsyth and Glenn Hadley celebrate with Reaseheath tutors Ken Higginbotham and Leigh Cawley and National Trust Training Programmes Manager Shona Dagless

Trust Award for the Best Trainee Gardener), Fiona Braithwaite of Bodnant Gardens, North Wales (James Row Memorial Award for Endeavour), Rachel Forsyth of West Weald estate, Surrey (National Trust

Award for the Best Trainee Warden) and Glenn Hadley from Buscot and Coleshill, Wiltshire (Gareth Seel Award for Endeavour) Vice Principal Dave Kynaston emphasised that Reaseheath was

determined to provide training for the specific needs of land based industry. The college was very proud of its partnership with the National Trust, as both organisations shared the same culture and values. The National Trust Training Programmes Manager Shona Dagless also paid tribute to the top quality of the training programme. Graduating gardeners: Fiona Braithwaite, Anna Tennant, Anna Derrett, Jazz Groves,Juliet Turner, Sarah Giles, Hazel Robinson, Ruth Martin, John Wreford Graduating wardens: Lisa Booker, Samuel Bright, Rachel Forsyth, Glenn Hadley, Nicholas Hinchliffe, Laura Jackson, Sean Kettle, Joy Margerum, Kevin Shepard, Samuel Watson.


Top trainees gain awards R

easeheath’s Advanced Apprentice of the Year is Adam Muncey, a site joiner with SDS Building and Joinery Contractors in Newcastle under Lyme. He was selected for his commitment to his college work over the past three years and also for the key part he plays in his employer’s team. Adam, who carries out all aspects of site joinery, said: “Apprenticeships are a great way of earning a wage and gaining qualifications at the same time. Spending time at college lets me learn new skills which I can then take back into the workplace.” Apprentice of the Year is Daniel Crick, an employee of Steve Brooks Quality Butchers in Sandbach. Daniel, who also took the title of Best Food

 Top apprentices Adam Muncey and Daniel Crick

Apprentice, was a semi-finalist in the BBC Young Butcher of the Year competition earlier this year when he was in the top 20 out of 8,500 contestants. He has also helped to develop meat appreciation classes for chefs, butchers and interested public at his butchers shop. Daniel has worked in the butchery trade for three years and

has progressed onto his level 3 technical certificate after gaining a distinction at level 2. Both were awarded their titles at a ceremony which saw 140 apprentices graduate. Reaseheath currently has a record 290 apprentices on training programmes. Full report in next issue.

Sustainability is the key to the door Joiners and bricklayers studied some of the latest building techniques during a guided site tour of a Manchester college. The Level 2 Diploma in Construction students were guests of ISG, the lead contractor on our own multi million pound building project, the Eden International Dairy Academy and Food Centre of Excellence. The students concentrated on four aspects of work on site: health and safety, the interpretation of plans, building techniques and the use of sustainable and energy efficient materials.

Fundraising tombola box

 Our trainee joiners and bricklayers join ISG on a Manchester site visit

 Ashley Alcock hands over the tombola box to Debbie Owen and residents Ken Killiner and Edna Hope

Our joiners came up with a crafty way to help residents at a local residential home raise funds. Ashley Alcock and Ed Beech designed and built a unique tombola box to be used to raffle prizes. The money raised will go towards trips and entertainment for the 12 residents at the Emmie Dixon Home in Crewe, all of whom have physical or learning disabilities. The students, who had just completed their Level 3 Advanced Construction Diploma in carpentry and joinery, designed and hand crafted the tombola box from Scots pine wood. It has a rotating drum for draw tickets and a compartment to house prizes. Ashley said: “I really enjoyed the project. It was quite complicated because we had to draw it first and all the joints and angles had to be very precise. It was nice knowing the box was going to be used for such a good purpose, and great to see how happy the residents were with it.” Home Manager, Debbie Owen, said: “I am absolutely delighted.”

New home for otters Countryside Management students have given otters a helping hand by building an artificial holt on the River Weaver at Reaseheath. The 19 students planned, designed and built the holt using recycled materials. They will be monitoring the new home in the hopes that otters settle in and raise young. The otter is making a comeback in Cheshire after years of decline due to water pollution, hunting and trapping. A survey by student Penny Oakley has found evidence that otters are passing along the River Weaver and its


tributary, Rookery Brook, on college land. Earlier research by the students has proved that water quality is excellent and attracts many species of wildlife including kingfishers, so hopes are high that otters will join the list of residents. Much of the college’s land comes under a High Level Stewardship programme, ensuring the highest standards of environmental and sustainable management. The holt is part of this programme and supported by Farm Manager Sam Grundy. The holt was built in four stages: the location was selected, a metre

 Students at work on the otter holt

deep hole was dug and the holt was built within using recycled fence posts and pipes. The students created a chamber for kits and sank in pipes for the entrance and exit. The holt was then concealed with soil and brash.

The result was so successful that the students have been approached to build a second holt on the Weaver Parkway at Winsford. Said course manager Siobhan Smyth: “This was a very exciting and relevant project.”

issue 20

College puts Lizzie in pole position for a great career Star motor vehicle technology student Lizzie Nye has been given the chance to stand alongside lecturers and to instruct students herself. Lizzie was given the opportunity after staff recognised her abilities. She had previously spent three years as a student with us, passing her Levels 2 and 3 Diplomas in Vehicle Technology with flying colours. Lizzie’s ambition is to study for an automotive sport engineering degree at university and her ultimate dream is to become a Porsche mechanic. She hopes that her appointment as an instructor at Reaseheath’s Engineering Centre of Excellence will help her move towards her goal. One of a handful of girls who have qualified as top-class mechanics at Reaseheath, Lizzie

Training in a changing world

jumped at the chance to pass on her knowledge to others. She instructs practical skills such as stripping down engines. Lizzie said: “It’s really exciting being back at Reaseheath - I’m so pleased I was offered the job. There’s a real buzz in the workshops and everyone gets on really well with each other.” Head of Engineering Melvin Johnson said: “Lizzie was an outstanding student, with exceptional practical skills and a great depth of theoretical knowledge. We are delighted that she is now passing on some of those skills and her great enthusiasm for the industry to our new intake of students.” Another former student, Chris Gardner, is also working in our engineering department. u

 Melvin Johnson addresses Colleges Day seminar

On the staff - Lizzie Nye

High octane thrills for motor mechanics A week of high octane activities for our trainee mechanics culminated in a visit to Mercedes Benz World in London and a thrilling high speed driving experience. A 13-strong group, who are studying for Levels 2 or 3 Diploma in Vehicle Technology, enjoyed a Formula 1 exhibition which included getting close up and personal with the car which took Lewis Hamilton to victory in the 2008 F1 World Championship. This was followed by a ride as a passenger in a Mercedes Benz V8 AMG performance car, including high speed laps of the circuit and demonstrations of what the vehicle’s dynamics systems can achieve. The students also took the wheel for 4x4 driving instruction, which included offroad and on road tracks. They also compared a display of

 Vehicle maintenance students with Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 F1 World Championship car

modern and classic vehicles. The study tour also included a visit to the Oulton Park motor racing circuit to experience the thrills and spills of a track day and an educational visit to the Castle

Bromwich Jaguar factory where students enjoyed a guided tour of the XK, XF and new XJ production lines. Other activities during the week included quad biking, team karting and paintballing.

Heightened co-operation between employers and training providers is key to taking the agricultural engineering industry forward, according to Reaseheath Head of Engineering Melvin Johnson. Melvin was called to put forward his views at a Colleges Day, jointly organised by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) and the Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) at Cranfield University, Bedford. The seminar attracted around 300 agricultural engineering industrialists and educationalists. Melvin put the case for the Further Education colleges alongside Dr. David Llewellyn, Principal of Harper Adams University College, who spoke about Higher Education institutions. Both welcomed the opportunity to build stronger links with the industry and believed tangible benefits would result from the Colleges Day, which was a forward looking event aimed at addressing the future of agricultural engineering. Melvin spoke about the challenges and opportunities facing colleges such as Reaseheath which take the lead in delivering land based technology programmes. He told his audience: “Colleges face similar problems as industry; one being able to attract and retain quality staff. Industry can play a key part in this by providing technical information and regular updates to teaching staff. “For our part, colleges have to become more flexible in their approach by providing different study models to suit business needs, particularly in the field of blended or distance learning.”


Greencore prepares for an upper crust workforce O

ne of Warrington’s major employers has enlisted the help of Reaseheath’s Workforce Development Team to upskill its staff. Greencore Prepared Meals is investing in its employees by offering them the opportunity to gain industry recognised qualifications during work time. The company, which is a UK leader in the preparation and development of chilled ready meals, employs 750 staff at its state-of-the-art factory at Grosvenor Grange, Woolston. The business, which last year recorded a turnover of £60 million, produces meals including Italian, healthy eating and premium dishes for Tesco. Working round the clock, the factory typically produces 70 tonnes of sauce and can use nine tonnes of mince daily to produce its diverse product range. It is a market which has continued to grow in the face of recession and Greencore is continually appraising its work practises to take the business forward. Raising skills and recognising talent within its workforce, particularly in such a hands-on industry, has proved one of the company’s best investments. In July 2009, in partnership with Reaseheath, the company began offering all

Summer school for foreign visitors While our students were enjoying their summer break, their places were taken by an eight week summer school for young Italian students, plus a one month summer school for 53 Spanish students. Our conference team rose to the challenge of caring for our foreign visitors - serving 45,000 meals and servicing 13,000 rooms over a nine week period. We hope that their Reaseheath Experience helped our guests to gain a better understanding of life in Britain. There are hopes that this contract will continue until 2013.


staff the chance to gain NVQ qualifications Levels 1-3 in the workplace. Since then, 150 employees have signed up and 85 have completed their first qualification, with many eager to gain a second or even third award. Reaseheath has trained assessors permanently on site to deliver the training programmes and Greencore has invested in a dedicated, fully equipped, learning centre. The NVQ qualifications on offer include: Level 1 Food Manufacture; Level 2 Food Manufacture (various pathways including production control skills and distribution); Level 3 Food Manufacture (specialist management and specialist improvement); Level 2 Team Leading.

 Successful students Keith Metcalfe, Michelle Walker, Trevor Roberts and Ludis Ignats with Mary Haselden and assessor Les Lowe

Dispatch Manager Mary Haselden said: “Our staff work to a high standard and are very loyal. This is our opportunity to reward them with nationally recognised qualifications. We couldn’t achieve this without Reaseheath’s team having the flexibility to deliver training over a four shift rota. We recognise

that assessors continually go the extra mile by covering weekend and night shifts.” For further information about training opportunities for your business, contact Reaseheath’s Workforce Development Team on 01270 613189 or Email

Cheshire lines up to become top equestrian destination A bid to make Cheshire the UK’s top equestrian destination has taken a jump forward with the official launch of Hoof Cheshire The industry champion, which is backed by the sports’ national governing bodies, aims to maximise future opportunities by representing the region’s diverse equine businesses. Its objectives, which include growing the local economy, preparing an annual calendar of high profile equestrian events and improving accessibility to the sport for all ages, are being co-ordinated through Visit Chester & Cheshire and through business developers at Reaseheath’s Enterprise Delivery Hub. Cheshire is already firmly on the map as an equestrian hotspot, both for performance sports such as racing, showjumping and eventing and for leisure riding. With around 40,000 horses in the county – one of the highest populations in the UK - the industry’s input to Cheshire’s economy is estimated at around £200 million. Hoof Cheshire plans to expand the industry further, initially by taking advantage of opportunities

 Oliver Townend, Nina Barbour, Tracey Pearson and Matthew O’Donnell celebrate the Hoof Cheshire launch

generated through preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. Four sites offering top class facilities are on the pre-Olympic training camp list including Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre. International event rider and Olympic contender Oliver Townend has been appointed Hoof Cheshire Ambassador. He said: “Cheshire has fantastic facilities and brilliant vets and farriers. Hoof Cheshire is helping to open everyone’s eyes about the potential within the county. We are more than capable of producing world class competition horses and riders here while continuing to support the grass roots interest.” Other speakers at the launch included Nina Barbour who is

Show Director of the Bolesworth Show Jumping Classic, Olympic dressage team captain Richard Davison and Matthew O’Donnell from Wrexham Veterinary Care, who previously worked as an equine surgeon and racing vet for the Olympic Games and for the Jockey Club in Hong Kong. Partners in Hoof Cheshire include the British Equestrian Federation, British Show Jumping, British Dressage, the RDA, Cheshire & Warrington Sports Partnership, Reaseheath College, Chester Racecourse, Bolesworth Show Jumping Classic and Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre. For further information visit www. or contact Hoof Cheshire Equine Co-ordinator Tracey Pearson on 07967 575557

issue 20

Visitors get slice of apple action Hundreds of visitors poured into Reaseheath for a celebration of the British apple. The festival, held the 18th consecutive year, was the most successful yet and attracted visitors from as far as Anglesey, Manchester and Birmingham. One of the most popular features was an apple press which allowed families to convert their orchard harvest into home made juice. Over 100 rare varieties of apples, pears and other fruit were on show, some dating back over several hundred years. As well as identifying fruit from local gardens, horticulture experts Derek Jones and Harry Delaney were also kept busy advising on pruning, pest control and suitable trees for planting.

Said Harry: “The apple festival was a superbly successful event aimed at stimulating and enthusing visitors to grow their own apples. “This year we have been inundated with people wanting to know more about the fruit in their garden. There is no doubt that interest in local produce has grown hugely over the past few years. “What is so exciting is that many people went away with a new concept of apple flavour, texture and taste, so much so that they wanted to plant and grow their own fruit. We certainly stimulated great enthusiasm for home production and for enjoying apples at their best, fresh from the tree! “One thing we hope we

REASEHEATH AT A GLANCE • Beacon College (LSIS) • Dairy Champion National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacture • Engineering Academy 14 years - 19 years • Training Quality Standard

 Eleanor Brown, Ed Brown and mum Anne Brown make juice from the apple press helped by Reaseheath’s David Allman

achieved was to demystify the growing of apples - anyone can do it with a little help and guidance.”

Subject areas: Further and Higher Education • Adventure Sports • Agriculture • Animal Management • Business and IT • Construction • Countryside and Conservation • Engineering • Entry and Foundation Programme • Equine • Floristry • Horticulture • Food Technology • Greenkeeping and Sports Turf • Motor Vehicle • Sports Performance and Excellence • Leisure and Community Studies Associate College of:

Maze a big hit with families Thousands of families took a walk on the wildside when they visit Reaseheath’s maze. Our popular summer attraction had a zoo theme and incorporated some of the animals which live in Reaseheath’s own exotic collection of animals. Visitors could choose between a giant ‘Zoo’ maze and a smaller ‘Lion’ maze, both hidden within a giant maize crop and home to a host of animal models. Families didn’t need to worry about getting lost among the wildlife, as each group received a flag to attract attention if the quest for the maze centre

Total students: Full time Further Education: 1,800 Higher Education: 600 Part-time inc. adult leisure: 4,000 Schools partnerships, work based learning and Train to Gain 1,400 Estate College grounds: 21 hectares Owned and rented farm land: 330 hectares Land leased to Crewe Alexandra Football Club: 6 hectares  The Maze team: Cerys David, Alex Lalire, Laura Christie, Carol Milke, Sophora Cliff and Samir Mouazia

became too difficult. Maze manager Carol Milke said: “We succeeded in

providing a really good day out of affordable fun, judging from the compliments we received.”

Long serving governor retires Long serving Reaseheath Governor Peter Mascarenhas has retired. Peter was a member of the board for 14 years, serving as a member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee and as a link governor with our horticultural department. His outstanding service was marked at a special presentation. Rose Rowland, a Chartered Accountant who is a Partner

with Howard Worth, has been welcomed onto the board as Peter’s replacement. She will take over his duties on the Finance and General Purposes Committee. Gavin Patience, who was appointed last year, has now become link governor with the horticulture department. Gavin is a Partner at Knights Solicitors and serves on the audit committee.

Turnover Academic year 2009-10: £21.3 million Facilities On-site accommodation for 500; five catering outlets; student lounge/bar; learning resource centre; HE study area; sports hall; climbing wall; multi gym; sports pitches (rugby, football, crown green bowling, cricket); commercial nine-hole golf course; indoor riding arena Staff 500 (including part-time)

 Peter Mascarenhas is congratulated by Chair of Governors John Platt and Principal Meredydd David

Further details - please ask for a prospectus Reaseheath College, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6DF


Reaseheath Festival pulls in the crowds T

housands of visitors enjoyed a day of family fun at Reaseheath’s Family Festival. Our popular annual event offered hundreds of activities, topped by action packed finales from international stunt riders The Devil’s Horsemen and from The ‘Knights in Battle’, who fought medievalstyle on the front lawn. Singers, musicians and dancers who had entered the ‘Reaseheath’s Got Talent’ competition had their own battle in the main marquee, with the title eventually going to animal management student Pippa Jenkins, 16, who just pipped Team Leader for Sports Studies Kevin Cunningham in a sing-off. Pippa won £100 for her version of the popular song ‘Hallelujah’. She said: “The competition was great fun. I love singing and showmanship and it was great performing in front of such a big audience.” In the farmyard, agriculture students prepared and showed calves from the onsite Genus MOET herd under the expert eye of international judge Ray Brown

Diary Dates… Come and see us!

 Pippa Jenkins, winner of Reaseheath’s Got Talent  Countryside student Jane Colley puts finishing touches to our meerkat carving

from Middlewich. Champion handler was Beth Ford with Fflur Davies in reserve and Tom Broadhead in third place. Ray Brown said: “I have judged this show for many years and the standard keeps getting higher. There were a lot of talented and very professional students and the calves were presented to a very high standard.”

A thrilling chariot race from the Devil’s Horsemen

David Buckley, Calum Yusuf and Alex Cooper prepare the winning garden

Student Becky Oakes took the championship honours in the sheep show. Malbank School pupils Sophie Lightfoot and Annabel East were second and third. Both attend Reaseheath on one day a week to gain practical experience in agriculture. Horticulture students created a garden against the clock, the theme this year being the most innovative use of recycled and reclaimed materials to be found on campus. Most public votes went to a garden designed and built by Jacob Herbert, David Buckley, Callum Yusuf and Alex Cooper. Families sampled cheese, toured the college’s collection of exotic animals, birds and reptiles and watched celebrity chef Richard Fox as he demonstrated how to dish up gastronomic masterpieces from leftovers. In another culinary trial, 71% of the audience preferred sausages made from Reaseheath high welfare pork by Nantwich butchers Clewlows when compared to a catering quality pork sausage. Many other activities included a display of larger than life carving by environmental sculptor Andy Hancock and countryside students while motor vehicle staff gave rides in fun buggies. Reaseheath Principal Meredydd David said: “There was a tremendous atmosphere and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I was immensely proud at the way the whole college pulled together to offer an amazing variety of activities and displays. The event was a wonderful showcase of the students’ skills.”

December 2010 3 Kenton Cool, mountaineer and extreme skier - talk 4 Courses information event FE only * 9 Reaseheath Equestrian Centre: Emile Faurie Grand Prix dressage demo 15 Reaseheath Dairy Sustainability Conference

January 2011 13-16 The Outdoors Show, Excel, London 15 Courses information event FE only* 18-20 BIGGA BTME Turf management exhibition Harrogate 19-20 LAMMA agricultural machinery show Newark

February 2011 12 Courses information event FE only*

March 2011 1 Courses evening information event (drop-in) 5-6 Reaseheath Lambing weekend 12-13 Reaseheath Lambing weekend 19 Courses information event HE and FE*

April 2011 9 Courses information event FE only* 13 Reaseheath Equestrian Centre: Introduction to Intelligent Horsemanship with Kelly Marks 22-24 Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival

May 2011 14-20 Adult Learners Week 15 Reaseheath Family Festival

w w w. r e a s e h e a t h . a c . u k l 0 1 2 7 0 6 2 5 1 3 1 Written and edited by Reaseheath’s Press Officer Lynne Lomax 01270 613279 l Designed inhouse by Colin Barnes l Inhouse photography by Paul Daniels l Printed by Inprint Colour Limited 01270 251589

Grassroots 20  
Grassroots 20  

Reaseheath College - Grassroots Newsletter - Issue 20