Reaseheath winners Cerys Fairclough, Hannah Sinclair, Kacper Nowalowski, Luke Tighe with Adam Henson (1)

Six talented former Reaseheath College students were rewarded at the inaugural Land-based & Environment Learner Awards, hosted by the Nantwich college.

The ceremony was attended by Minster of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Mark Spencer MP, celebrity farmer Adam Henson and more than 200 guests from England and Northern Ireland.

It celebrated successful young people who have progressed in industries such as agriculture, animal care, horticulture, forestry, floristry, environmental conservation, agricultural engineering, equestrianism, sports turf and veterinary nursing.

The awards were launched by Lantra, a land-based training and qualification awarding body, and by Landex, the representative body for land-based colleges and universities.

Organisers received more than 120 nominations across 10 categories.

Winners were chosen by a panel of industry professionals.

Successful Reaseheath candidates:
Aspiring agriculturist Cerys Fairclough, a former Reaseheath Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture student, who was crowned Overall Learner of the Year 2023 and also scooped the Agriculture Learner category.

Cerys Fairclough, Overall Landbased Learner of the Year, with Adam Henson (1)
Cerys Fairclough, Overall Land-based Learner of the Year

Cerys spent the middle year of her diploma on work placement with the Wynnstay Group PLC and is now a national hardware sales co-ordinator for the group.

She is also studying part time for a business degree at the University of South Wales, along with developing her own breeding flock of Blue Faced Leicester ewes.

Hannah Sinclair, who graduated with a BSc (Hons) Zoo Management this summer from University Centre Reaseheath, and is now a keeper at Amazona Zoo in Norfolk, won the Animal Care category.

Hannah Sinclair, Animal Management winner, with Adam Henson (1)
Hannah Sinclair, Animal Management winner

She gained practical experience by working at Reaseheath’s mini zoo alongside her studies and also supported many college fund raising and other activities as a member of the Students Association.

Kacper Nowakowski, who was awarded ‘Most Improved Student’ on his Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture course, won the Arboriculture category.

Kacper Nowalowski, Arboriculture winner, with Adam Henson (1) (1)
Kacper Nowalowski, Arboriculture winner

He now works for his family’s business SYL Garden Maintenance and also regularly volunteers at Reaseheath, supporting current arboriculture students. His long term vision is to become a college instructor.

Luke Tighe, a top student on Reaseheath’s TECH BACC Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Land Based Engineering, took top place in the Land Based Engineering category.

Luke is currently studying for his BEng (Hons) Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University, with plans to continue onto a Master’s degree. His long term ambition is to work in product support.

Luke Tighe, Landbased engineering winner, with Adam Henson (1)
Luke Tighe, Land-based engineering winner

Lewis West, winner of the Landscape and Horticulture category, completed both his Level 2 Diploma and his Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Horticulture at Reaseheath, the latter including a work placement on the campus gardens and grounds.

He has since secured a job as a gardener with The National Trust, working at Hare Hill, Macclesfield, and at Little Moreton Hall, Congleton.

Abby Dewhurst was runner up in the Floristry category.

She is a former Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Floristry student who has progressed onto Level 4 Higher Diploma in Floristry and has also set up her own floral events business, Floral Smiles.

Adam Henson said: “I’m lucky enough to encounter some amazing young people who are passionate about their jobs and are a complete inspiration.

“The level of enthusiasm, professionalism and passion, blew me away – a big well done to everyone.”

Reaseheath Principal, Marcus Clinton, current Chair of Landex, said: “This was a fantastic night, celebrating the incredible talent across the sector and seeing the great progression these young people have made into jobs and further training.

“I was immensely proud to see Reaseheath students do so well, particularly as the overall Learner of the Year Award went to Cerys.

“This is testament to our hard working staff who have supported them through their learning and who have delivered on our industry focused and career ready mission.”

All winners joined by Adam Henson (1)

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