Newton Rigg students spent a very worthwhile training day with Eden Rivers Trust near Penrith, planting trees and hedges to help protect the environment.
Newton Rigg National Diploma in Agriculture students
planting trees with Tom Dawson of Eden Rivers Trust
at Croft Head Farm, Dacre.
The day allowed the National Diploma in Agriculture students to gain first hand experience of tree planting and hedgerow creation at Croft Head Farm, Dacre near Penrith. The students learned about protecting wildlife habitats on farmland and how this can benefit the farm. For example, planting new hedgerows and woodlands not only creates habitat for wildlife but also provides shelter for farm animals and traps soil and fertilisers which would otherwise run off the farm and into the nearest river.
Students also learnt about other types of “buffer strips” such as areas of rough grassland and uncut field margins. These also help to reduce the flow of water across farmland and reduce soil and fertiliser loss.
Newton Rigg Lecturer, Jamie Brownrigg, said, “It was a great opportunity for the students to work with a conservation charity. It has allowed them to see that farming has a big role to play in protecting the environment. Many of our students will be farming for the next 40 to 50 years, so understanding how to protect the environment is essential”.
Eden Rivers Trust Habitats Officer, Tom Dawson, said, “The enthusiasm of the Newton Rigg College students and staff has been excellent. It is great to see the next generation of farmers with a pro-active approach to land management and conservation. The balance of food production with stewardship of the land is essential for long term sustainability, and its wonderful to see the college encouraging this in their students“.
This was part-financed by the “European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas” under the Leader programme supported by Defra.
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