Thursday, 13 April 2017

'Taking Aim' to Support Country Sports and Landscape Conservation!

There is no doubt country sports polarise opinion and whilst it is not the job of this blogger to persuade you either way, like so many things in life perhaps the solution lies in making an informed opinion based on published research. For example, ecological research undertaken by our undergraduates and presented at the British Ecological Society Winter Meeting at the University of Birmingham showed that supplementary feeding from pheasant hoppers attracted a great number of birds on the 'Birds of Conservation Concern' list - particularly on small farm shoots. Even badgers were attracted to the hoppers, as the camera trap 'still' testifies below.

Indeed, it seems that there might be other benefits associated with managing the countryside for game species, and some lie alongside the health and well-being and 'natural capital' agendas. Moreover, a future research project is tabled to provide an unbiased and balanced view of the social and environmental impacts linked to driven game shoots - you can read a hot off the press blog post on the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) blog page here.

Check back to the blog from time to time to see news updates on this and other research we are taking aim at currently!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Moulton Agriculture features on BBC TV!

Our students and staff are a busy bunch, with lots of exciting things happening currently. Top of the tree is probably the fine work our livestock lecturer Ed and his students did by featuring in the BBC series ‘The Farmers Country Showdown’ which was broadcast this month!

Featuring a piece called the College Challenge, students took part in a stock judging competition at The Smithfield Festival last November. The filming followed the student’s journey from the preparation at College through to the main event! Check it out here!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Eye of Toad and Tongue of Newton the Newt!

Whilst out and about on the estate this week, Level 3 BTEC Countryside Management students Jacob and Jack stumbled across a European protected species - a Great Crested Newt which they named 'Newton'! This juvenile amphibian was found underneath a log, indicating that breeding ponds were nearby. A new record for this part of the farm - nice work fellas!

Jacob (left) and Jack (right) - take a bow!

Newton the newt!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Where does our recycling go? - Part 1

PMK Recycling Ltd. Picking Line (© PMK Recycling Ltd. 2016)

Do you ever wonder where your recycling goes after you leave it on the kerbside in the bin for the council to take away?

I did, so a trip to the local recycling plant was required. My local one does not actually recycle the goods, but divides them into their separate groups, such as PET plastics, glass, steel, aluminium, and the one that really surprised me was concrete, which was smashed up into small pieces that could be used elsewhere, such as being the aggregate for new concrete. The smashed concrete was outside. along with a large amount of glass bottles straight out of bottle banks which were to be processed.

Inside the first section of the large shed were two hoppers being fed on conveyor belts. Inside the hoppers are trommels with 20mm and 50mm holes to filter out the smallest items. Anything that falls through these holes is whisked away on one conveyor belt, and all the items too large to fall through are taken away on another belt.

The items which fell through the holes are sent into another hopper, which has a large vibrating plate inside. This causes the paper, metals and plastics to be filtered out and sent to one pile, and the glass to be sent to a separate pile.

The conveyor belt with the larger items headed up towards the picking line, however before it reached the line, a magnet removes all the steel. After this, the employees on the picking line remove everything that isn't paper, so all aluminium cans for example. These items are dropped into various bins, which, when full, are put through a baler and stored as a bale ready for the next part of their journey. The paper wasn't picked because it fell into the end bin and was then baled the same way.

I was advised that some of the plastics, such as green drinks bottles, have to be separated from the clear, as they cannot be dealt with the same way, and how the different types of plastics go to different processing plant, depending on the material they are made of. So, for example, an empty packet of washing liquid would be separated from drinks bottles.

It's an impressive process to see how an empty can of drink can go from the bin full of recycling to being separated and ready to be sent away for re-processing in pretty quick time.

Of course all this helps preserve the natural raw materials that, without the companies such the one I visited doing this vital work, would be mined or made, losing more natural resources that are so important to so many aspects of the planet, and creating greenhouse gases that we cannot really manage.

A special thanks goes to Damian at PMK Recycling for his guidance around the site and his explanations of everything I didn't understand (which was a lot!).

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Electro-fishing for Beginners!

Just a quick one this - Andy Beal from Absolute Fisheries was in yesterday to demonstrate the art of electro-fishing. This approach involves stunning fish with a electric current so that stock assessments and health checks can be made - all without harming the fish of course!

Image courtesy of Sophie from BSc Land Management! More pix are on our Twitter feed, check it out (including Rob vs. crayfish!): click me

Friday, 27 January 2017

Starting September 2016 - Part-time course

Part-time Courses - Look at what we offer

Find out more at:
To view the prospectus: Moulton Part-Time 2016 Prospectus 

To contact us, please call us on 01604 491131, or email us on at, we would love to hear from you.