Gaining essential qualifications: guest blog by Plumpton College

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Plumpton College offers superb opportunities for shoot and estate staff to gain essential skill qualifications and to stay updated on recent legislation.

By Robbie Nicolle, Gamekeeping Programme Manager

Education is a valuable tool which can be utilised in so many ways to prepare students for their chosen choice of employment, with gamekeeping being no different. Plumpton College’s new intake of level two and three game students had a fun and exciting start to their student life with induction week kicking off with a bang.

During induction week students received lectures from industry organisation BASC, participated in clay shooting, rifle shooting and explored the shooting estate.

Since the induction week students have been getting out and about on the estate with preparations well underway for the start of the pheasant shooting season. Both released and wild birds are thriving this year with excellent work being carried out by the students to high welfare standards with the first day around the corner.

As part of the course the students run and manage the commercial days, with second year level three students taking charge of the picking up team, beating lines, game cart and hosting the days all under the watchful eye of the new gamekeeping team. The course is not just about running the shoot days but also about the conservation that is undertaken on the estate with various margins, HLS strips and the trapping programme carried out as part of the pest and predator control lectures enabling wild birds and mammals to thrive.

The students gain valuable information and practical experience by getting hands on with the incubation and rearing of gamebirds ready for release onto the estate. This process enables first year students to gain an understanding before seeking work experience on local game farms or shoots to continue developing knowledge and understanding throughout their summer.

Plumpton has recently invested in their clay shooting facilities with the purchase of new traps from The Clay Pigeon Company which will be used to advance learner’s skills and also team selection to enter nationally recognised competitions.

There are a vast number of short courses available to the students with the Deer Stalking Certificate level one, Shotgun Loaders Course and GWCT snaring/cage trapping courses being most popular. These extra qualifications provide the learners with more knowledge and industry recognised certificates which acknowledge their achievements.

Plumpton College offers a variety of gamekeeping courses which suits a vast range of learners from an introductory level two course to a two year level three advanced diploma. Both courses are made up from theory and practical lectures where experience is gained and developed.

Should you wish to gain any information regarding courses please click here or contact admissions on +44(0)1273 892082.

Look out for our next blog which will include details of our shoot days and the students taking ownership.


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