A Countryside Management student is off the Czech Republic to work after landing a job on a private estate.
Tom Watts, is one of two students from the UK, who will become gamekeepers on the estate, which is home to a German Duke and often visited by royalty!
The 20-year-old, who is the first in his family to follow this career path, said he can’t wait to get started in the summer, after completing his Level 3 course at the Lackham campus.
He said: “I’m really excited about getting my first job as a gamekeeper.
“It’s going to be a fantastic experience for me and a bit of an adventure!”
It was a love of the outdoors that brought Tom to Lackham.
He said: “I looked at Lackham because I knew the environment would suit me and the Countryside Management course ticked all the boxes – working outside and with animals.
“The Level 2 was a great course to start on here as you get to learn about conservation and gamekeeping.
“I liked learning about the needs of animals, different species of tree, what’s grown here and where on the estate, dependent on the different types of soil.
“Lackham is the perfect campus as it has so much to offer; there are so many fields, but also woodlands.”
At the end of the Level 2 in July 2017, Tom was awarded Most Improved Student in Gamekeeping at the end of year Student Awards ceremonies.
During the Level 3 course, Tom has specialised in gamekeeping and said he was proud to be in charge during shoot days.
“As well as being good experience, during Shoot Days I’ve learned and improved other skills such as organisation, communication by talking to and liaising with people attending shoots and good practice, also making sure people are safe.
“The whole course has been great and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in either conservation or gamekeeping.
“My lecturer Neil has great experience of the industry and fantastic contacts, which is really beneficial to us as students.
“He recommended me for the gamekeeper job and it’s really nice to know that the effort I’ve put into my work has been recognised.
“I’ve also made some great friends at College and look forward to working with a student from Scotland when I start my job in July.”