Following the incredible response after the call for nominations went out back in June, we’re delighted to announce the finalists who have been shortlisted for England and Northern Ireland’s first ever Land-based & Environment Learner Awards 2023.
The exciting new awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 22 November at one of the UK's leading land-based colleges, Reaseheath College.
Host for the evening will be one of the best-known faces of farming and the environment, Adam Henson, who along with his TV presenting career, runs the hugely successful Cotswold Park Farm in Gloucestershire
The Land-based & Environment Learner (LBEL) Awards were launched by leading land-based training & qualification awarding body Lantra, and the representative body for land-based colleges and universities, Landex, with the aim of celebrating and rewarding the industries’ top candidates.
The Awards were open to apprentices and further education and higher education learners, working and studying in land-based and environment sectors between September 2021 and September 2022.
Categories at this year’s LBEL Awards cover 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.
As well as prizes for the top apprentices and learners in each of the above categories, there’s also awards up for grabs for overall learner of the year and overall apprentice of the year.
Finalists for the LBEL Awards 2023 were selected by an independent judging panel consisting of esteemed and influential figures across the land-based, veterinary nursing and environment sector, chaired by John Moverley of JMM Land Based Consultancy.
A huge congratulations to the following individuals who have been shortlisted:
- Abby Dewhurst has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Floristry at Reaseheath College. She has progressed to the Level 4 Higher Diploma in Floristry and has also set up her own floral events business, Floral Smiles.
- Abigail Bradshaw has completed the Level 2 Horticulture and Landscape Operative apprenticeship with Bedford College Group – Shuttleworth College.
- Adam Keen has completed a condensed Level 3 Land-based Service Engineer apprenticeship while working as a HS2 field service engineer with Finning UK
- Alisha Cox is currently studying the Level 3 Zookeeper and Aquarist apprenticeship with Capel Manor College.
- Amanda Hughes has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Equine Management at the College of West Anglia.
- Annalise Fox-Ford has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080) in Equine Management at Sparsholt College.
- Ben Morgan Brown has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Land and Wildlife Management at Bicton College. He works as an Assistant Ranger for East Devon District Council based at Seaton Wetlands.
- Cerys Fairclough has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture (1080) at Reaseheath College and is now a national hardware sales co-ordinator for the Wynnstay Group PLC.
- Charlie Kifford has completed the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture with Plumpton College whilst running his own flock of sheep.
- Chloe Wilmot has completed the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Bicton College whilst working at Marks & Spencer and with Fiona Dixon at her natural horsemanship yard.
- Elias Ame has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Diploma in Animal Management (Zoos) at Askham Bryan College while working at Pets at Home and on the college animal unit at Saltaire.
- Elizabeth Tree has completed the BSc (Hons) Agriculture programme at Harper Adams University and has joined Innovis in a graduate role. She has since completed a one-year Masters of Research degree.
- Emily Robbins is studying the Level 2 in Floristry at Suffolk Rural and took over a florist shop six months into her training.
- Emily Rosa is studying the Level 3 Advanced Extended Diploma in Land and Wildlife Management at Kingston Maurward College whilst working as an assistant ranger and assistant filmmaker.
- Gabriella Jardin has completed a Level 2 Arborist apprenticeship with Myerscough College at the RHS Garden Bridgewater.
- Hannah Sinclair has graduated with a BSc (Hons) Zoo Management at University Centre Reaseheath and currently works as a Zookeeper at Amazona Zoo, Norfolk.
- Heather-Anne Pedley completed the Keeper and Aquarist Apprenticeship (Level 3) in placement at Chester Zoo and studied at Derby College Group.
- Ismail Gany completed the Level 2 Racing Apprenticeship in placement at Hazelrigg Racing while studying at Northumberland College.
- Jack Steer completed the Level 2 Underkeeper Apprenticeship at Castle Hill estate while studying at Sparsholt College
- Jack Winzer is completing a Level 3 Livestock Unit Technician Apprenticeship through Bicton College and working as a stockman/tractor driver.
- Joshua Sancho has completed a Veterinary Nursing apprenticeship with City and Islington College whilst working in practice.
- Kacper Nowakowski has completed the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture and works for his family’s business SYL Garden Maintenance.
- Kamron Flaxman is completing the Countryside Worker Apprenticeship with Sparsholt College and has been taken on as an employee by his placement at Hoburne Bashley.
- Kieron Paul Murch has completed the Level 2 Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship with Oaklands College, working in placement at the Shire Golf Club.
- Kinga Chudziak is studying the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture at Merrist Wood College
- Lewis West has completed the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Horticulture (BTEC) with Reaseheath College whilst working at B&M and at a work placement on the college grounds.
- Luke Tighe has completed the TECH BACC Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Land Based Engineering with Reaseheath College and is currently studying for his BEng (Hons) Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University
- Lydia Turnbull has completed the Advanced Level 3 Senior Equine Groom Apprenticeship with Askham Bryan College, while helping to manage the livery and competition yard at Richmond Equestrian Centre.
- Martin Foster has completed the Level 2 Golf Green Keeper Apprenticeship at Askham Bryan College on placement at Malton and Norton golf club.
- Millie Francis has completed the Level 2 General Farm Worker Apprenticeship at Askham Bryan College and on placement at Skelton Estates.
- Nisba Saghir has completed the Level 3 BTEC Extended National Diploma in Applied Science with Berkshire College of Agriculture.
- Orla Brady is currently completing the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing on placement at Cara Veterinary Clinic.
- Reuben Mason is currently completing the Level 2 Land-based Service Engineer Apprenticeship with Bicton College whilst working as an Agricultural Engineer with a local machinery dealership.
- Robyn Caple has completed the Level 2 Horticulture Operative and has now progressed to the Level 3 Horticulture Apprenticeship with Wiltshire College and at her workplace, Combe Grove Hotel and Spa.
- Shelley Keefe is completing the Level 2 Floristry Apprenticeship with Windsor Forest Colleges Group.
- Sophie Walker is currently completing the Level 3 Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeship at Plumpton College.
- Tanyel Dede has graduated from the BSc (Hons) Equine Behavioural Science programme at Writtle University College.
A huge thanks to all of the category sponsors; AEA, Arbortec Forestwear, BASC, Cheshire Horse Sanctuary, Dodson & Horrell, EGO, Farmers Weekly, GroundsFest, Hillier, Interflora Floristry Trade Club, ProGreen, The Pony Club and VN Times, along with Interflora who are kindly providing a bouquet of flowers for each category winner.
Dr David Llewellyn CBE, Lantra’s Chair of Trustees commented: “Whilst the headlines may concentrate on the important topic of a lack of qualified individuals and skills in the land-based and environment industries, we think the equally important abilities and achievements of those thousands of learners who are dedicated to helping grow our workforce of tomorrow, are both celebrated and rewarded”.
Marcus Clinton, Chair of Landex commented: “There is so much amazing talent across the network of land-based colleges and universities who are doing such a great job supporting the land-based and environment sectors and employers with their workforce of tomorrow. Being able to shine a light on and recognise the hard work and achievements of our students will make for a very special evening”.