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North Shropshire College

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John Craven OBE Opens Caradoc Halls of Residence at Walford Campus

John Craven and the BBC were at the Walford campus of Walford and North Shropshire College on Friday (23rd Sep) filming a piece for the extremely popular Countryfile programme. The programme, which is due to be broadcast on October 9th on BBC1, will include a piece about Hill Farming, rising land prices and how this is affecting students and their studies.

Shropshire, United Kingdom, October 06, 2011 --( Level Three Agriculture students were filmed whilst undertaking a practical activity with sheep. Two of these students, Carl Trow from Worthen and Ryan Joseph from Llyswen, were interviewed about their course and their future ambitions. John also met a group of Agricultural Apprentices and talked with them about their work-based programme.

Whilst on site John formally opened the £1million Caradoc Halls of Residence. Guests at the official ceremony included governors, staff and representatives from Paveaways and Baart Harries Newall the builders of the new accommodation. Mr Craven commented that he was impressed with the facilities and pleased there were record numbers of agriculture students currently enrolled at the college. He said: “Things are looking a bit better for farmers after a long, bleak period and to see record numbers of young students doing agriculture at this college is a sign of growing confidence in the industry.”

Gillian Richards, vice-chair of governors, said: “John spoke about how rewarding it was to see young people coming back into agriculture and we are delighted he was able to officially open Caradoc for us.”

Toby Paul, the four year old son of Walford Shepherd Peter Paul and the winner of first prize for young handlers at the recent Minsterley Show, treated John to a demonstration of his impressive handling skills with a Lleyn ewe. Toby also presented John with a ceramic sheep, a gift from the college, after the opening ceremony.

Interestingly Anna Jones, the BBC Director on campus, is a former Llanfyllin High School Student, and her father is a former student at the Walford Campus. Anna said, "Dad was here 1969-70 and he now farms at Lynton, Llansillin."

The Countryfile team visiting Walford was a fantastic experience for many, including Interactive Media Students from the Oswestry Campus, who were able to film the unveiling ceremony and get some tips from the BBC crew. John even agreed to give them an impromptu interview on camera. Interactive Media student, Peter Aspey commented, "It’s been a really great day. It was wonderful to meet John Craven and have the opportunity to film him. We have also learnt a few really useful tips from the BBC cameraman. It’s going to really help our studies."

Background information on the new Halls of Residence
The £1m Caradoc Halls opened back in September 2010. The Halls include 24 fully ensuite study bedrooms with private showers and toilets, full internet and digital television access in high quality accommodation. The new halls were designed by Baart Harries Newall, the same design team responsible for the award-winning Harris Centre, and were built by Knockin-based Paveaways Limited. The new building will be known as Caradoc Hall, reflecting the Walford tradition of naming residential halls after well known local hills.

Andrew Tyley, College Principal and Chief Executive, is delighted with the finished product: "These new residential facilities bring Walford’s accommodation up to the standard of the very best in further education. Any parent would be impressed with the standard of the new halls, which replace the very basic and dated facilities in the former Haughmond block, since demolished. Our architects have managed to design a superb new building, which enhances the campus as well as providing a really pleasant and live-able space for our residential students."

Centre of Excellence
Jon Parry, Director of Walford, welcomes the new halls as a vital ingredient to the long term future of Walford as a centre of excellence for land-based studies “With further expansion this autumn in the number of agriculture and equine students at Walford, it is more important than ever that we have sufficient high quality accommodation to house those learners living away from home. We had tremendous praise at our last Ofsted residential inspection for the quality of care and support we offer our residents. We now have accommodation to match.”

For more information about courses at Walford and North Shropshire College, visit or call 01691 688080.

Contact Information
Walford & North Shropshire College
Lucy Evans
01691 688039

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