On the 25th April, we welcomed a group of visiting lecturers from a horticulture college in Germany, who spent the day touring our facilities and exploring what we do here.
The group were from the State Master and Technical School for Viticulture and Horticulture, one of Bavaria's oldest technical schools in the agricultural sector, affiliated to the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture (LWG) Veitshöchheim.
The tour, led by Adam Blunt, Team Leader for Horticulture HE and RHS, allowed the visitors to see the progress of our brand new, £1.5m state-of-the-art glasshouse at our Court Lane campus. For use by students on our BSc (Hons) or FdSc Commercial Horticulture programmes from September, it is being installed by CambridgeHOK, who constructed the 90-hectare complex at Thanet Earth.
The new 1,024m2 Venlo structure will be unique, being both fully commercial and adapted for degree-level research. Managed by the latest Priva climate control technology, it will be split into three separate compartments: a tomato centre, a pepper centre and a research centre used for dissertations and other student projects, such as LED light trials. The propagation area will be adapted for both seeds and cuttings and features a vertical growing system for micro salads and herbs, sustained by LED grow lights, with no reliance on natural light.
The visiting lecturers were also able to observe some fine examples of our students’ apple tree rootstock grafting in our other glasshouses, and clonal rootstocks in our raised beds, before taking in Broadview Gardens. The group were impressed by the way lessons and practicals were delivered around the estate, with its varying landscapes providing a variety of training opportunities.