Volunteer Park Ranger - and occasional Star Wars Stormtrooper - Richard Wilkinson chose Harper Adams because his goal is to pursue a career in the environment and countryside sector and, for him, “Harper is the best place by far for doing so”.
Richard, 22, who has almost finished his honours degree in Countryside Management also chose Harper because “it has a great record of supporting students with learning difficulties and dyslexia, and the degrees offered suited me better because they are not 100% examination based”.
Upon starting his degree, what surprised Richard the most was, “when compared to school and college, was the freedom I had when it came to doing assignments and projects – everything except the deadline is up to you!”
Asked about highlights from his four years at Harper, Richard laughs and says that - because he describes himself as “a bit of nerd”- he would probably put being the Countryside Management course rep as one of his top experiences.
“I have enjoyed representing my course… and generally helping and looking out for everyone in subject area and keeping everyone on track and out of trouble!”
“The amount of trust and responsibility the other employees put in me really surprised me.
“As a trainee Ranger I got to work with the other rangers, the events and education departments for a variety of different projects and through The National Trust I was able to attend several training sessions and obtain additional qualifications to use the on-site equipment.”
Unfortunately for Assistant Explorer Scout Leader Richard, and many of our other students, placements had to be cut short due to Covid-19.
The pandemic did not stop Richard entirely and when it was safe to do so, went back to Attingham Park as a volunteer ranger and has continued to do so throughout his final year.
Asked if he had any advice for prospective students, Richard – who occasionally dresses as a Stormtrooper to raise money for charity - had two tips to pass on.
“Harper Adams was the best open day I attended, so come to the open day and see what it is all about” and “don’t worry about making friends or being social because there is a very family like feel here at Harper and on the courses... everyone looks out for each other”.
To take Richard's advice, check out our upcoming open days.