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    Parish Councillors and Wildlife Group volunteers work on plans and projects at Harper Adams University

    Posted 4 March

    “The University is committed to being part of the Edgmond community, as well as good neighbours and part of Telford & Wrekin – all this is very much welcomed and appreciated.”

    Ian Rowley and Richard Hooper show Parish Councillors round the Future Farm

    Councillors from Edgmond Parish Council have been welcomed to Harper Adams University to discuss future plans – and tour the University’s Future Farm.

    The visit was part of a series of meetings between the Council and the University, which allow both organisations to update the other about future plans, explore any issues and concerns – and plan work together.

    Harper Adams’ Head of Global Impact - Ian Rowley, Head of Student Services - Joana da Silva, and Future Farm Director - Richard Hooper all met with the council representatives during their visit.

    Ian said: “As a University rooted in our local community, we’re keen to discuss councillors’ views on a range of matters – from ways in which we can work better together to their thoughts on our new developments.

    “That meant a wide-ranging conversation which included plans to replace a memorial bench in the village, exciting proposals for summer events which we’re set to unveil soon, and the work we’re doing to integrate Harper Adams into the Shropshire community further with our developments at both Ni.PARK in Newport and Station Quarter in Telford.

    “We then toured the farm – with Richard explaining how we combine teaching and research with a fully-functioning farm and where the food we produce on the farm goes – whether that’s the supermarket shelf or the Harper Adams canteen!”

    Councillor Robert Higginson said: “We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the farm and having an opportunity to understand the work of the University, both as a successful educational facility, but also as a working farm.  The two go hand-in-hand and offer the students a wide range of experience and qualifications in such a wide range of subjects.

    “In addition to this, our meetings are very useful and as Councillors we value the opportunity to meet and understand the work of the University and to get to know more about their plans.  This also gives us an opportunity to raise any questions direct with University representatives.

    “The University is committed to being part of the Edgmond community, as well as good neighbours and part of Telford & Wrekin – all this is very much welcomed and appreciated.”

    Meanwhile, University Grounds Manager Mark Hall and volunteers from Edgmond Wildlife Group have worked together on a project to plant new hedgerows on the Harper Adams farm. The project saw Mark and the volunteers plant 1,000 plants on Buttery Hill on the southern side of the Harper Adams Estate.

    Future Farm Business Development Manager Dr Grace Milburn said: “The plants included species such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Gelder Rose and Dog Rose, as well as Hazel, Field Maple, Holly, Crab Apple and Wayfaring Tree. This is part of our on-going business plan to increase the amount of hedgerows we have on our land here at Harper, this is a long-term plan and is of great benefit to the environment and wildlife in general, providing food, shelter and safe passage for many different species of wildlife.

    “In the years to come, as the hedge is managed and matures, it will also sequester carbon.    

    “This is the fourth year in which we have worked with the local community on various planting projects and we’d like to thank our volunteers from Edgmond Wildlife Group very much for their support – it really does make a difference.”

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