2013-10-28   facebooktwitterrss
New Team to Take National Centre for the Uplands Forwards

A new team has been announced by Askham Bryan College to drive forward the work of the National Centre for the Uplands. The Centre forms part of a significant investment by the York based college to help promote the economic sustainability of English uplands.

The team brings together expertise from both Askham Bryan and Newton Rigg College at Penrith which became part of the Askham Bryan family in August 2011. Students from both sites will benefit from a range of courses, including a foundation degree in uplands agriculture and land management which is available from next September. The National Centre for the Uplands is based at Newton Rigg College.

left to right: new team members of the National Centre for the Uplands Dr Joanne Beukers-Stewart; Alastair Philip, Liz Philip, Mervyn Lewis, Dr Andrew Henworth, and Dr Deirdre Rooney at Askham Bryan College

left to right: new team members of the National Centre for the Uplands Dr Joanne Beukers-Stewart; Alastair Philip, Liz Philip, Mervyn Lewis, Dr Andrew Henworth, and Dr Deirdre Rooney at Askham Bryan College

Liz Philip, Chief Executive and Principal said: “The English uplands are a vital part of our farming and cultural heritage. The Centre's remit is to provide an educational base where the next generation of hill farmers and those with an interest in the uplands can gain the technical skills and professional qualifications they need. Our vision is that, equipped with the expertise required, they will then help to drive forward the economic sustainability of these areas. Working in partnership with organisations such as the national parks, utility companies and local businesses will be a key part of the work.”

She added: “The new team will also run research projects, and provide a hub where those with an interest or a concern for the uplands can meet and exchange views to create a better understanding of the various issues.”

Talks are underway with Duchy College, Cornwall which also runs land-based courses, and support has already been received from The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

The team will be led by agriculture lecturer and moorlands specialist, Douglas Phillips as Manager. His extensive experience includes working with The Heather Trust, managing 10,000 acres of moorland near Glasgow and latterly, managing the College’s moorland at Shap.

Additional expertise will be brought by Dr Stephen Webster, a government policy expert, Matt Bagley, Head of Agriculture who will provide sheep and hill farming expertise, Mervyn Lewis, business management specialist, Alastair Philip, beef specialist, Dr Andrew Henworth, animal health, Dr Joanne Beukers-Stewart, water and environment, and Dr Deirdre Rooney, environment specialist.

Her words were echoed by Wes Johnson, Campus Principal at Newton Rigg College Mr Johnson said: “The significant breadth and depth of experience and knowledge of this team will ensure that the National Centre for the Uplands has a powerful, effective and influential voice and will not only benefit our students, but the economic development of the uplands for the future.”

As part of the college's commitment to the uplands a £200,000 investment is underway at its demonstration hill farm in Cumbria which, as with the Centre, will be a valuable resource for students studying at both Askham Bryan and Newton Rigg.

Askham Bryan

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