Hand luggage when you first arrive in the UK
Different airports have different methods for dealing with security, but for flying to and from the UK the following carry-on restrictions currently apply to passengers entering the departure area:
- two bags, no larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (though different airlines may require smaller items)
- no liquids, gels, pastes, or creams over 100ml
- no blades over 6cm
- diverse forbidden items (that you obviously shouldn’t be carrying onto a plane with good intention)
Security of personal items
You should ensure that you have all the necessary documentation regarding your student visa in your hand baggage – not in your check-in baggage! Keep your passport, wallet, credit cards, and other essential and valuable items on your person when in your departure or arrival airport. If you are carrying cash, please ensure that this is safely stowed and out of sight. Do not put these precious items down while having a snack or a drink! Be vigilant!
Items to pack in your hand luggage
If you are entering UK as a Tier 4 (General) student visa you will need the following documents in your hand luggage as you may be asked to produce these when you pass through immigration on arrival in UK:
- offer/confirmation letter
- CAS document from Sparsholt College
- accommodation confirmation letter
- proof of financial means, or an updated statement from the bank you used to support your application
- the original certificates for all the qualifications that were listed in your CAS document, including any translations
- any other documentation that you think may be in any way helpful when you report to immigration at the airport, enrol at Sparsholt College, or when you open a bank account in the UK
- TB certification – if you are coming from a country where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic you may be required to undergo TB screening on arrival in the UK. But you can avoid this if you have already undergone screening and have a valid TB certificate from your own country. Please ask about this at your local UK visa office. Full details are available here
It is also a very good idea to keep a clear photocopy of your passport information and current visa pages in your check-in/hold baggage, along with copies of all the other documentation that you bring in your carry-on baggage.
Money you will need while you are waiting for your new UK bank account
You will need to bring with you cash, traveller’s cheques, credit or debit cards, to use for the first few weeks while you wait for your new bank account, and a banker’s draft to deposit monies into your new account.
Body scanners (on leaving UK)
The UK government states that, “for the benefit of all passengers’ security, passengers may be required to be screened using security (body) scanning equipment.” You can find out more about body scanners here.
Carrying items for other people
Do your own packing and do not carry items for other people. When you check-in at your departure airport you will be asked whether you did your own packing and whether you are carrying any items for other people. And if you are subject to a customs search on arrival in the UK you will be asked the same questions.
Bringing food items into the UK
Different regulations apply on importing food items into the UK depending on whether your journey starts (but not connects) within or outside the European Union (EU). If your journey starts in the EU, “you can bring any fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy or other animal products (for example, fish, eggs and honey) into the UK if you’re travelling from a country within the EU.”
However, if your journey starts outside the EU, “you can’t bring meat, meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes into the UK from most countries outside the EU.” See the UK.GOV website for more details.
Heathrow Airport (LHR)
There is a regular coach service between London Heathrow airport and Winchester, from where you should take a taxi to the College. There is a Rail-Air link between Heathrow and Woking station, from where you can catch a train to Winchester, then a taxi to the College. Driving/taxi times between Heathrow and the College in excess of 55 minutes (about 50 miles/80km), depending on traffic. WinTax taxis offer fixed price airport transfers.
The main function of the farm is to service the education and teaching requirements of the College in addition to being farmed commercially. These resources allow for a very broad range of farming enterprises to be demonstrated, exceeding that of many larger farms. The result is that students are provided with the opportunity to be fully involved with commercial arable and livestock systems.
To balance the theory sessions, access to the College farms allows for the introduction and development of a wide range of skills involving livestock, machinery, estate skills, record keeping and management.
The Home Farm and Estate adjacent to the College comprises 176 hectares, of which 146 hectares are farmed. An additional 146ha are rented for forage crop production including maize, grass, red clover and whole crop mixes. Arable crops are also grown in conjunction with a neighbouring farm.
Home Farm is located in a NVZ (Nitrate Vulnerable Zone) and is in its tenth year of Countryside Stewardship. Five hundred metres of hedges are either coppiced/layed or planted every year. 1,500 metres of wildlife margins are in place over and above those already in place for stewardship, these are planted with a range of wild flowers and clovers to give all season flowering. This is to promote nectar production for bumble bees and other insects.
The 100 Holstein cows are milked in a three-sided Fulwood Tribone parlour with bulk milk storage. The herd is calved in the Autumn from September through to January and averages in excess of 8,500 litres per cow per annum.
The £500,000 pig unit, built in line with modern production and welfare practices, opened in March 2005 has been praised by the RSPCA for placing the wellbeing of animals at the heart of it’s design. This demonstration of excellent welfare has been viewed by thousands of people as the College educates the public on open days and school children on scheduled visits.
The pig herd comprises 130 sows and is 75% pure Large White. The progeny are reared to bacon. Each sow has an individual pen for their litters and have an exercise area, rails to prevent piglet crushing and a warm creep to attract the litter from potential harm. To keep the animals healthy, the straw is changed three times a week, in addition to the rigorous cleaning programme. The unit is used not only for commercial production but as a teaching aid to both agriculture and animal studies students who benefit from the experience of handling larger animals.
The sheep flock comprises 300 breeding ewes which lamb early (late January or early February) to enable students to gain practical experience prior to going out on work experience. Additional practical work with sheep is undertaken on neighbouring commercial farms.
The college farm livestock are used to demonstrate and teach relevant livestock husbandry skills in a commercial environment. Many students leave with competency certificates in Livestock Handling and Husbandry and Safe Transport of Animals. In addition, courses are available in introductory livestock handling and husbandry skills.
A wide range of machinery is available for teaching and demonstration purposes. A fleet of small tractors are utilised for introductory tractor driving skills whilst another fleet of modern larger field work tractors are used for teaching cultivation and ground preparation, crop production and harvesting techniques.
Five all-terrain vehicles are available for quad bike training, plus a rough terrain forklift and a range of tractor mounted sprayers and knap sack sprayers are used to provide students with a range of industry-relevant technical certificates prior to working in the agricultural industry.