Earlier this week I popped across to Moreton Morrell College, part of the successful Warwickshire College group to meet with staff and students on a special occasion. The event, also being enjoyed by many proud parents was the college annual awards ceremony.
I was made very welcome by staff and students and enjoyed an inspiring speech from guest speaker David Gardner, Chief Executive of the Royal Agricultural Society. Mr. Gardner tempted the freshly qualified students with tales of new technology that’s set to revolutionize both the agriculture and equine industries, and also talked of the challenges that new recruits to the industry would be facing over the coming decades; he made the future seem bright and appealing indeed; driver-less tractors of all things?!
One point worthy of note, and a little known fact is that we do actually sponsor an award for the countryside management courses; the Compton Verney Award for Wildlife Conservation. This year the award was proudly collected by Alex Appleyard, who was recognised for his achievements in this discipline. I was glad to meet Alex with an invitation to visit the team at Compton Verney, where I hope to show him some of the many things we do to conserve wildlife at Compton Verney. I was pleased to hear that whilst studying at Moreton Morrell, Alex had taken to training and volunteering at the nearby National Trust property of Charlecote Park.
Looking closer to home, Moreton Morrell students have in the past been no strangers to Compton Verney, indeed I’ve welcomed groups over the last three years who have helped plant bulbs in the ice house coppice, avenue trees in our parkland, and prior to this plot and plant trees elsewhere in the east park. Additionally, the college farm unit assists us with management of our two flower meadows by removing the hay crop in summer; all tasks that have helped us a great deal with our charitable work.
It was good therefore to yesterday talk so positively about firming up the link between Moreton Morrell and Compton Verney, and I would hope to see students visit and use our facility more often. It is clear to present college staff and Compton Verney that our estate, much like the Moreton Morrell estate it, contains many different elements that could be of huge benefit to students. If all goes to plan, I would hope to be welcoming countryside management students for an introduction to Compton Verney this autumn, so please watch this space!
Many thanks to staff at Moreton Morrell for my warm welcome this week, and I look forward to welcoming you in due course.
Head of Landscape & Gardens