Nathan Robinson, EDDC Nature Reserves Ranger; Leo Henley-Lock, Lecturer in Countryside Management and Tim Dafforn, EDDC Countryside Team Leader (People) with students from the Extended Diploma in Countryside Management/Countryside Ranger course at Bicton College.

Council's Countryside teams up with Bicton College for rangers work experience

East Devon District Council’s Countryside Team has joined forces with Bicton College to provide work experience placements to Countryside Management students. This relationship will give the next generation of rangers an insight into habitat and visitor management across all the council’s nature reserves including Knapp Copse, Holyford Woods and the Axe Estuary Wetlands. The students will gain invaluable skills in conservation, running events, working with volunteers and delivering education sessions.

Councillor Iain Chubb, Environment Portfolio Holder said:

This partnership naturally links two important organisations and highlights East Devon District Council’s commitment to Bicton College and the young people it serves. I am sure with the wealth of experience in the countryside team and the support of college tutors this link will only get stronger.

Jane Townsend, Deputy Principal at Bicton College said:

We are proud to be developing our relationship with East Devon’s Countryside team.  Our initial discussions have created many future activities that we are keen to explore. Bicton College works hard to equip students with the skills to ensure they are readily employable and set up for a successful future career. That wouldn’t be achievable if it wasn’t for the employers like East Devon District Council who are giving practical day-to-day experience to our students, which will help us shape and develop the curriculum we deliver.

These are sentiments echoed by Leo Henley-Lock, Countryside Lecturer at Bicton College. 

Industry links like this enhance our students’ experience and ensure that together the Industry, the College and the student work in harmony to develop the right skills and experiences.

He added:

This is a model we have been working on for some time through our Level 3 Countryside Ranger course and hope to continue to develop.


  1. East Devon District Council Countryside Team manages Local Nature Reserves across the area including the Axe Estuary Wetlands nr Seaton. They run education activities, events and provide volunteering opportunities throughout the year. For current events and information visit the Countryside events pages.
  2. Bicton College is a leading land-based college offering FE and HE qualifications up to Foundation Degree level. Set within an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of Devon, the College is praised by Inspectors for offering quality ‘teaching, learning and assessment outcomes’ and has an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ (2012). Playing a vital role in the provision of land based teaching, Bicton College offers its students a diverse range of courses in agriculture, countryside management, sport, engineering, horticulture, public services, animal care and more.
    • Bicton College graduates enjoy excellent career prospects
    • Bicton College graduates have the skills required to meet the complex demands of the modern working world
    • Bicton College: for people who do