The Groundsman

November 2014

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 16 the Groundsman November 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions ouise Dunton doesn't bat an eyelid at the occasional spider, mouse or frog. But the Harefield Academy tutor admits she panicked a bit when she stood on the 840m 2 of waste ground that was planned to become the academy's new purpose-designed teaching area for horticulture and groundsmanship students. "I stood there thinking 'what have I done?'," she admits. But the initial shock soon turned to optimism as Louise set about planning the initial 18 allotment plots and the positioning of a storage shed/classroom. She also had an eye on the future installation of a polytunnel and the establishment of a dedicated area for turf studies. The current innovative Levels 1 and 2 project builds on the success that Louise has achieved during the previous two years in encouraging young people into a potential career in horticulture and groundsmanship. A golden opportunity for young people As head of the inclusion centre at the Middlesex academy (which has circa 1,000 students), Louise does whatever she can to engage the students and two years ago she looked at an old allotment plot and thought 'I could do something with that'. "At the time Richard Ayling, grounds manager at neighbouring Merchant Taylors' School, was on-site helping and advising the school groundsman on the establishment and maintenance of a new pitch, so I asked his advice," says Louise. "In no time, Richard – an IOG Board member – convinced me that we had a golden opportunity to think 'out of the box' L Hurrah for young people at Harefield Harefield Academy is breaking new ground in offering students Level 1 and 2 City & Guilds accreditations under the IOG Apprenticeship scheme, and as a result is successfully offering young people a pathway into the industry By: Colin Hoskins The polytunnel is an invaluable asset for Harefield's Levels 1 and 2 City & Guilds courses

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