Posted 1 August 2013
That’s one of the reasons why I chose Harper Adams – the rural campus really appealed to me
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams University.
From making rustic wooden furniture to volunteering for the Forestry Commission, 20-year-old Harper Adams student Ben Hunt has a passion for all things woodland.
The first year FdSc Countryside Management student works for a green wood crafter, attending shows and festivals across the country.
Ben, from Ibstock, Leicestershire, said: “There is so much you can do with trees and so many uses for them. I love wood because it is a natural resource and goes back to our roots.
“As well as rustic garden furniture, I use traditional tools to carve wooden spoons which I sell at the shows. It takes a few hours to make each one and I tend to use unusual tree species that have character.
“I really like seeing people buy what I have made, particularly when they understand the hours and effort that have gone into making it.”
Ben first realised he had an interest in the countryside and forestry during his year 10 work experience at Leicestershire County Council’s Weston Ranges.
He then chose to complete a three-year extended diploma in countryside management at college.
As well as working towards his degree, Ben now volunteers for the Forestry Commission and Leicestershire County Council.
Ben, a student ambassador and course representative at the university, added: “I love open spaces and the outdoors. You have the freedom to do whatever you please.
“That’s one of the reasons why I chose Harper Adams – the rural campus really appealed to me. But also, the facilities are modern and the industry contacts, such as the National Trust, are invaluable.”
Since starting his degree at the university in Shropshire, Ben has joined the Conservation Society – participating in training days such as hedge laying and coppice restoration.
He has secured his placement year with the wardens at National Trust’s Attingham Park in Shrewsbury.
Ben added: “My time at Harper Adams so far has been brilliant. There are great opportunities for training and development, such as the ecology field trip to Slapton Ley in Devon.
“In the future I would like to be a country park warden for the National Trust, so I am doing all I can to achieve that by volunteering and taking extra courses.”