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Countryside Management Students on BBC Countryfile

On the 6th June, students from Hadlow College, currently studying for their Level 3 Extended Diploma in Countryside Management, took part in some filming at the National Trust's Scotney Castle property for a wildlife special of BBC Countryfile – due to be shown on 23rd June 2013.

Focusing on the land-bridge which can be found on the site, the first of its kind in the UK when it was completed in 2005 at a cost of approx £2.5m, our students were involved in collecting data on the population of small mammals which regularly use it.  The land-bridge was designed initially to protect the historic driveway to the Scotney estate as well as provide a vital wildlife corridor across the new A21 bypass.  During the filming, which was hosted by Julia Bradbury, the students were able to talk a little about some of the amazing practical and theoretical learning which they experience at Hadlow College both inside and outside of the classroom.

This experience was the culmination of a lot of work that has taken place over the past year with the Senior Ranger, Ross Wingfield, carrying out habitat management activities.  One of the activities they have undertaken includes the building and installing of dormouse boxes to form part of a wider species monitoring scheme.  Throughout the Level 3 Extended Diploma course, all students are expected to gain a variety of different field experiences and take part in a number of plant and animal surveys.  They learn about the different licenses that are required to survey and the legislation involved with the conservation of key native species, plus, the course covers habitat management, practical estate skills (such as fencing, laying footpaths and woodworking) and the science behind woodland ecology.

All of these skills are used during their eventual careers as well as on the work placements which they complete as part of the course.  The breadth of the industry partners that the College has - from the National Trust through to the AONB and RSPB - ensures that the students leave the College with a highly specialised education so that they are competitive once they enter the job market.

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