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Agriculture student James shares work experience with Wychwood Forest Trust

8th Jul 2024

As part of his Study Programme, Agriculture student James joined Wychwood Forest Trust for two-weeks of work experience, helping the charity to build its new educational hub.

Wychwood Forest Trust is a conservation charity that works with local communities to protect and restore spaces once part of the historic Wychwood Forest, and to help people learn traditional rural skills and crafts.

This year, Agriculture student James joined the Charity to help Toby Swift, Countryside and Reserve Manager, secure their onsite education area at Foxburrow Wood.

James was tasked with putting up a post-and-wire fence to enclose an area around the dome, and digging over 100 post holes to create a space that will facilitate the company's events and courses for the entire community.

We caught up with James to hear all about his work experience placement and his top tips for future students securing placements.

“I first heard about the work experience opportunity through my course leader Jen, who put me in touch with Toby to help organise my placement.

I was with the Trust for two weeks, mainly working on fencing for the new educational area inside one of the nature reserves. The fencing is to help future proof the site, keeping the children safe and ensuring that dogs and other animals can't access the educational area.

Each day, we'd start by heading down to the farm to grab our supplies and make sure that we had enough wood before getting started with the fencing. We did all the fencing manually, by hand, without any post knockers so it was hands-on, but I really enjoyed it.

The placement definitely boosted my confidence and helped with my social skills as there were lots of people dog walking past our site who were keen to find out what we were up to.

It's definitely something I'd look into for the future, be it forestry in particular, or just something outdoorsy.

If I could give one tip to a student looking for their work experience placement, it would be to send that email and get in touch with everyone you can. They’re not going to come for you, you’ve got to go for them!”

Following James' work experience, Toby shared:

"James got stuck in every day and really enjoyed himself. He genuinely seemed to look forward to coming and worked very hard; he was a great help."

If you would like to find out more about the Agriculture Level 3 Study Programme, or practical hands-on courses offered at Common Leys Farm, please click the links below.