Inner city students get a taste of farm life at Writtle College

April 2014

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A group of inner city students have visited Writtle College with many experiencing their first taste of farm life!

Postgraduate students Hannah Scott-Browne and Stephanie Collingbourne took the 33 students, aged 17 to 20, to the College farm to show them the pigs, cattle and sheep, including the 100 lambs recently born.

The students, who are all in their second year of an Animal Management course at City and Islington College, also went on a sheep shed and field walk before visiting the labs at the College, near Chelmsford, to gain first-hand experience of the lambing simulator and to take part in a quiz in one of the classrooms.

Matt Farmer, their course leader, said: “On-site in Islington we have exotic animals and small animals but no farm animals. Although we teach a farm unit to give the students the breadth of knowledge they need - as some of them will go onto careers in the farm industry - we do not have a farm where they can learn the practicalities and handle livestock. Coming to Writtle College gives the students an opportunity to learn about livestock farming – and some of them have never been on a farm before.

“Many will go onto study degrees in zoology or courses involving livestock, with some of the students choosing to study at Writtle College next year.”

Hamdio Osman, 19, from London, who wants to eventually work on a safari park in South Africa, said: “The day’s been pretty interesting and the farm was really cool. I loved the lambs as they are so cute – I wanted to pick them up and take them home!

“This is my first time on a livestock farm – we went on a trip to a farm in Somerset before but they only had sheep and emus. The simulator was interesting too, as it gives you a practical idea of lambing.”

Hayleigh Stamford, 17, is coming to Writtle College next year to study an Animal Management (Companion and Zoo Animals) degree. She said: “It’s been great to get a taster of what life will be like when I study here next year.”

Writtle College’s Hannah Scott-Browne said: “These visits are a great opportunity to inspire students who may not have had an opportunity to visit or learn more about life on a farm. It’s been a fun and interesting day and we hope some of the students will think about a career involving livestock as a result.”