Despite the rain Sparsholt College lecturers and students did what they do best on Saturday at their annual Countryside Day – showcasing the skills and training the College is renowned for. Thousands of visitors welcomed onto the beautiful campus were given a taste of the countryside as they tried their hand at the many have-a-go activities on offer.
New to the event was the ‘Hampshire Fare Food Festival’ featuring food and drink producers from the region. In the demo kitchen seven of Hampshire’s leading chefs cooked up a storm including Andy MacKenzie from Lainston House, Luke Holder from Lime Wood, Luke Matthews from Chewton Glen and James Golding from The Pig.
One of the main attractions of the event is the number of ‘have-a-go’ activities on offer which aim to promote the many benefits associated with the countryside. The College’s impressive climbing wall was scaled, sharp shooters took aim with laser and pigeon shooting, tree climbers were hoisted up an oak tree and budding equestrians got to climb atop a pony. In the Horticulture department two teams battled it out over the instant garden challenge. From learning opportunities to leisure opportunities to career opportunities – the scope is huge, and the College aimed to inspire its visitors to try something new and different.
Tim Jackson Principal explains further: “Countryside Day is our showcase event and we are always very proud to open the door to our beautiful campus. The facilities here are first class but as always it is our expert lecturers and students who have made the event the success it is. It is wonderful to see them showcase the skills they have learned here as so many adults and children try their hand at something new. We want visitors to see and experience the huge opportunities the countryside offers career and leisure wise”.
When not trying their hand at an activity visitors could sit back and enjoy any number of displays and entertainment from sheep shearing to calf leading, gundogs to milking, with music supplied courtesy of Ocean Brass Band, Crestwood Steel Band and New Forest Yokels.
For those duly inspired the College’s next open evening is June 27 2016, 4pm to 7pm. For further information please go to www.sparsholt.ac.uk or call 01962 776441.