Sparsholt College and University Centre Sparsholt is delighted to announce that three of its learners have been recognised for their achievements at England and Northern Ireland’s prestigious, first-ever, Land-based & Environment Learner Awards (LBEL) 2023.

Sparsholt students – Annalise Fox-Ford, Kamron Flaxman and Jack Steer – were selected as finalists out of 120 nominees from across England and Northern Ireland, following a rigorous judging process conducted by an independent judging panel with a broad range of industry expertise.

  • Annalise Fox-Ford, a Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma student in Equine Management, who has since started an Equine Science Degree at University Centre Sparsholt, was nominated for the category of ‘Equine and Farriery’;
  • Kameron Flaxman, a Countryside Worker Apprentice, who has now been taken on as an employee in his placement at Hoburne Bashley, was selected for the category of ‘Environment, Conservation, Game and Wildlife. Kameron previously studied on the Foundation Studies Programme and Level 1 Horticulture before starting his apprenticeship. 
  • Jack Steer, an Underkeeper Apprentice, who completed his apprenticeship while working at Castle Hill estate in Devon, was put forward for the category of ‘Environment, Conservation, Game and Wildlife’.

Two out of the three nominees, Annalise and Kamron, went on to be named as winners at the event, as an apprentice or learner in their selected category.

Annalise commented: ‘I’d like to say a huge thank you to my College Lecturer, Amy Robbins for nominating me for this award, as well as the support that I’ve had from the FE lecturers and yard staff in my three years as a college student. Winning this award has completely made my day and I can’t wait to help more people get into horses in the future!’

Mark Treagust, Vice Principal for Sparsholt College said: ‘A huge congratulations not only to our three finalists from Sparsholt College Group, but also, to all the other students who were nominated for these prestigious awards. It is fantastic to celebrate the hard work and commitment of our learners and also, the support that land-based colleges and universities give to the industry, providing employers with a highly trained, growing workforce, equipped to meet their needs.’

Inaugural land-based and environment awards

The inspiring new awards ceremony was launched by land-based training and qualification awarding body Lantra, in partnership with Landex, the representative body for land-based colleges and universities, to celebrate the achievements of some of the industries’ top candidates.

The evening, which took place at Reaseheath College, a land-based institution based in Cheshire, was hosted by BBC Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson. The farming celebrity also runs Cotswold Park Farm, which specializes in rare breed conservation in Gloucestershire.

Nominees were considered from a wide variety of industries including agriculture, animal care and management, arboriculture, forestry and woodland management, environment, conservation, game and wildlife management, equine and farriery, floristry, landscape and horticulture, land-based engineering, sports turf and greenkeeping and veterinary nursing.

The awards were open to all further/higher education learners and aspiring apprentices, who studied in land-based and environment sectors between September 2021 and September 2022.