Bridgwater & Taunton College’s Arboriculture and Countryside Management students recently visited the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt and were given a behind the scenes tour of the propagation facilities and mechanisation workshops.
The arboretum is home to 15,000 tree specimens from all over the globe, and is a popular visitor attraction as well as an important site for tree conservation. A team of arborists, horticulturalists and volunteers propagate, plant and maintain the tree collection and 600 acres of beautiful grounds.
Westonbirt takes part in worldwide tree seed and plant material collection with international partners, and students saw first-hand the bio-security and stages of propagation at the Nursery. In addition Andy Jane, Operations Support Officer at the Arboretum delivered a comprehensive health and safety overview of their operating procedures and management of their risk assessments.
Arboriculture student OIlie Edgar said,
“We all found the visit extremely interesting and relevant; the guided tour looked at managing tree work activities and gave us a fantastic insight into how the arboretum embeds health and safety expectations into its day to day operations.”
Course Leaders Mike Cullen and Alan Sinclair added,
“We regularly visit the Arboretum with students to view the tree collections, but to have the opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’ is a real bonus. It highlights the extensive, important and professional work carried out by all the staff at Westonbirt, but in particular the Tree team who manage the tree collections day to day.”
For more information about land-based courses at Bridgwater & Taunton College see the course pages on this website or call the Information & Guidance team on 01278 441234.