Ayrshire College students delighted with Dean Park

Ayrshire College students delighted with Dean Park

Students from Ayrshire College studying Access to Land and Tree, NQ Garden and Landscaping, NPTC Tree Surgery, and City and Guilds Bricklaying courses have enjoyed a fantastic year at their Dean Castle Country Park base.

The groups have been hard at work on a number of projects, with Tree Surgery students cutting down designated trees and snedding them - which involves stripping small branches from felled trees with a chainsaw, to leave a smooth log. Logs were then used for other projects around the park.

The group also put up new fences and maintained existing fences around the park. They have also been involved in pole prune projects to removed damaged lower limbs on trees next to and above the park’s path network.

The students on the City and Guilds course have put down a new path near Dean Castle, and a set of steps to take visitors into other areas of the park without having to climb up any muddy embankments.

Access to Land and Tree students were also kept busy, with projects ranging from path maintenance to sowing grass seed, developing borders and hedge planting.

Garden and Landscaping students have been planting borders, developing the kitchen garden, propagating plants and growing them on for use in the park.

Ayrshire College has been working in partnership with Dean Castle Country Park for over a year now to provide students with live projects. This helps the students further develop the skills they have learnt at the College, while at the same time helping the park enhance their grounds, which covers over 200 acres.

Ewan Farrow, lecturer at Ayrshire College, said “It’s great to see the students incorporating what they have been taught at college and put this into a real life situation. It also gives me, as the lecturer, the opportunity to evaluate both formative and summative assessments, integrating both within their course.”

Danny Boyle, who is studying City and Guilds Bricklaying at Ayrshire College, said “When we started the course nobody knew anyone, but after just one week everyone was really close. We’re working on challenging projects and need to communicate well. It’s given us a great experience in construction and of course it’s great to be out of the college and working in the sun for a while!

“This is the first course I’ve studied at Ayrshire College and the first time I’d considered construction. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, but within the first month I knew it was right for me.”

Tree Surgery student Clayton Johnstone said “I chose this course because I’m not an indoors person and this is a good job to get into as you’re out working in this environment. Being able to work outside is a change, and Dean Park has been a great place to come to work. I would advise people that if they have the chance to apply for a course like this, then take it.”

14 June 2018

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