Countryside Management students support Lydiard Park environmental project

Recently a group of Countryside Management students from Cirencester College spent two days on environmental improvements at Lydiard Park in Swindon.

The students were taking part in a long-term restoration project in the park which includes the planting of 11,000 native woodland trees and restoration of the parkland to maintain wildlife habitat.

The students cleared a lot of young self-seeded ash from the woodland plantation to make more room for some of the long-lived species such as oak and beech.  The ash saplings were then used to build a woven ‘dead hedge’ boundary around one of the recreational areas of the park.

Head of Department Tom Bint said, “Thankfully the weather was with the students and the park wardens were impressed by the skills of the students,  who constructed the new hedge.  Work experience is an invaluable part of the Countryside course where students gain skills relevant to the sector and meet with local employers.’

17 year old Rhys Davie, s a former Isambard School pupil said, “It was interesting putting into practice what we had been learning in college. We had studied woodland management and the effects of ash dieback but it was great getting outdoors and doing something purposeful about it”

Another student, Alice Beaney from Faringdon,  said, ‘I really enjoyed gaining the practical experience by working with the wardens. This included thinning an area of woodland by clearing young ash saplings and then learning a method of dead-hedging. The practical work alongside the countryside management course is allowing me to gain experience and knowledge that will help me to achieve my goal of becoming a countryside ranger.’

In thanking the students Mark Eborn, Lydiard Park Warden said, “Lydiard Park and its Warden Team send a big thank you to the College and the students who volunteered at Lydiard Park . The Wardens were impressed by thenumber of ash trees cut and woven into our new dead hedge by the students.”

For more information about countryside and land based courses at Cirencester College please contact student.journeyteam@cirencester.ac.uk