There is an increasing public awareness of environment issues and a growing demand for access to open spaces and the countryside for leisure purposes. Organisations such as the National Trust, Forestry Commission and the English heritage are very active in preserving and developing our natural resources so there is a wide variety of career opportunities in this thriving specialist area. There are also numerous commercial enterprises such as golf and country clubs, private estates as well as amenity sites such as fishing and nature reserves, who need people with the diverse range of rural grounds skills which trainees can acquire in this department.
The Foundation is responsible for over 500 acres of grazing, arable and woodland as well as for the formal gardens and sports field adjoining the main house and a large walled kitchen garden. Working under the guidance of an experienced groundsman, trainees will learn the safe use of tractors, mowing, harrowing, rolling, topping, fertilising, hedge cutting, strimming and brush cutting, care of lawns, flowerbeds, shrubberies and the vegetable garden. In the Winter months, coppicing, forestry, ditching, fencing and watercourse maintenance are also on the agenda.
Extensive training and practical experience will be gained in the use of tractors and associated machinery, hedge cutters, chainsaws and as well as the customary hand tools employed in maintaining grounds in good order.
Short courses on certain items of machinery can be undertaken leading to competence certification and trainees are encouraged to pursue relevant vocational qualifications. As with all other trainees, help from our in-house tutor is always available if required.