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Sparsholt College is a leading land-based college specialising in subject areas associated with the land and environment. We have a number of industry experts available for media commentary.

To speak to any of these experts please contact Press Officer Sue Allison on 01962 797563 during office hours or Director of Marketing Fiona Carthy on 07854 707361 out of hours.

To keep up to date with our latest news follow us on Twitter.

Click on the topics below to find out more about our relevant experts:

  • Land-based Education, Training and Skills


    Tim Jackson

    Areas of expertise are land-based education, training and skills.

    Tim has been the Principal at Sparsholt College since 1998. He is the Chair of Landex, the Chair of the Hampshire Principals’ Group, an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies and was President of New Forest Show 2014.

    Tim is a graduate Applied Biologist who worked with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before training to teach in Further Education. He is passionate about education and technology and spearheads the College’s Sustainable technology agenda.


    A-Levels Andover 130815Martin Simmons

    Areas of expertise are land-based education, training and skills.

    Martin Simmons has over 10 years of experience in senior management.  Formerly Director of Curriculum at an inner city further education college, Martin has been Vice Principal of Sparsholt (incorporating Andover College) since 2007.

    Martin is an expert in culture, the management of change, student support and curriculum management.



  • Competitive Dressage and Welfare of Horses


    Lorna Cameron

    Areas of expertise are Competitive Dressage and Welfare of Horses

    Lorna spent 20 years as a competition groom and yard manager managing horses to World and Olympic level in show jumping, dressage and eventing. She achieved one of the first degrees in Equine Studies in the UK.  She also has an MSc in Equine Science and is currently completing a PhD at the University of Portsmouth.

    The focus for Lorna’s research is on the welfare of horses in varied situations and the effect of the economic climate on horse owners’ perceptions.  She has had a number of papers published including the Journal of Sports Sciences and Animal Welfare.

  • Wild Deer and Sporting Firearms


    Charles Smith-Jones

    Areas of expertise are wild deer (ecology, welfare and management) and he can also discuss and advise on legal aspects and practical use of sporting firearms (rifle and shotgun).

    Charles has always been fascinated by deer and has wide experience of all the British species. He is a Trustee Director of the British Deer Society and is a regular contributor to  Shooting Times and Deer. Charles is a published author of two books:  Muntjac: Managing an Alien Species, which received widespread praise as a groundbreaking work on the subject.

    His latest book, The Deer Stalker’s Bedside Book is available from all good booksellers.

  • Garden Production, Pest Diseases, Soil and Media and Pruning


    Chris Bird

    Areas of expertise are garden production, pest diseases, soil and media and pruning.

    Chris has co-ordinated the College’s displays for RHS Chelsea Flower Show since 1998, resulting in six Gold medals, three Silver-Gilt medals, four Silver medals, three Bronze medals and three Best in Category.

    Chris holds a Master of Horticulture (Royal Horticultural Society) and is a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture.

    He is a Royal Horticultural Society question setter, examiner and external verifier and is the editor of the RHS book entitled The Fundamentals of Horticulture published by The Cambridge University Press.

  • Animal Nutrition, Zoo Management and Zoo Keeper Training


    Andy Beer

    Areas of expertise are animal nutrition, zoo management and zoo keeper training.

    Andy is a world-renowned Zoological specialist. Andy is the Nutritionist for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS); a member of The Education and Training Committee of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums); sits on the nutrition sub group of the Elephant Welfare group of BIAZA; he is a member of on the species committee and nutritional  advisor to of the Tapir and Suid Taxon Advisory Group of EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria);and is Nutritional Advisor to the terrestrial Invertebrates of EAZA.

  • Fish Biology, Water Quality and Aquaculture


    Adrian Love

    Areas of expertise are fish biology, water quality and aquaculture.

    Adrian has worked in fish culture in South East Asia and Africa and is currently studying for a PhD in the impact of pharmaceuticals on river invertebrates. He is particularly interested in what makes fish ‘tick’ – their diversity and physiology. Adrian works closely with a range of leaders in the aquatics industry – including Aquarian, Tetra, Interpret, Hagen and JBL – developing trials and exploring ways that they can support the students and enrich the courses.

  • Football Scouting, Recruitment, Coaching and Team Management


    Neil Benson

    Areas of expertise: Scouting, recruitment, coaching and team management.

    Neil is the Football Academy Manager for Sparsholt College and the Manager of Andover Town FC.  Under his tenure Andover Town FC had an incredible first season which saw them promoted to Sydenhams Football League Premier Division. Sparsholt FC finish the 2014 season with an array of silverware including the National Colleges title and two Hampshire Cup Final wins at both club and college level. Further cup wins followed in 2015 with the pinnacle of the season being two Sparsholt players from the Saints Elite Centre chosen for England All Boys side.

    Neil has a wealth of experience having been involved in sports coaching for many years. Within football he has managed, coached and scouted at all levels from grass roots to Academy Premiership level.

  • Herptile Husbandry, Welfare and Conservation; Zoo Biology


    Steve Nash

    Areas of expertise are Herptile husbandry, welfare and conservation; zoo biology.

    Steve is a self-confessed reptile and amphibian geek! He sits on the BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Research Committee and on the steering committee of the BIAZA reptile and amphibian working group. Steve is also the specialist national assessor for herptile husbandry units on the Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals – the ‘industry standard’ qualification for zoo keepers in the UK.