Countryside Worker Apprentices return to site with National Trust - Bridgwater & Taunton College

March 2020 saw the beginning of a new challenge for BTC teaching staff, particularly for our Land based sector with a majority of learning ordinarily conducted through practical activities.

This barrier was quickly overcome through BTC assessors switching teaching online to allow apprentices to continue with minimal disruption to their learning.

However, earlier this week we were delighted to see three of our Level 2 Countryside Worker apprentices at the site of Cotehele in Cornwall.

Site visits have been very difficult due to a variety of complications including travel restrictions and site staff on furlough or sites being closed to all visitors.

Working alongside the National Trust, we planned and made sure it was safe for apprentices to visit Cornwall for a day’s work clearing an area of reed bed on the estate. This was a fantastic opportunity for the apprentices to engage with each other and take part in a habitat restoration activity. The opportunity was used as a college mentoring task and we were able to discuss all aspects of team work and also individual observations of a practical task in COVID safe conditions. The task involved cutting and removing old decaying reed and this went for composting to be used in the gardens, whilst on the SSSI reed bed site, it will allow a new fresh growth providing the necessary age structure to improve the habitat.

The day was a great success and proved invaluable for the apprentices giving them real work-life experiences and for trainers to be on site, mentoring and guiding our apprentices.

Thank you to Peter Mill, National Trust Ranger, who made this development day a huge success!

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