Year 6 pupils from Wistaston Academy took a tour around the state-of-the-art vertical farming centre, glasshouses and working farm at Reaseheath College and University Centre Reaseheath, as part of a work experience project led by Cheshire and Warrington Pledge.

The project, running over six weeks, gives primary school children the chance to explore the journey of food from field to fork, with a key focus on sustainability and healthy food choices. The project also offers students the opportunity to discover potential career paths they could progress onto within the agri-food and hospitality sectors.

While visiting Reaseheath, students heard about careers in the horticultural and agricultural industries and the role they play in the process of food production from Senior Research Manager Dr Peter Gould, Horticultural Assistant Adam Durose, and Dairy Herd Manager Sam Walton.

Peter and Adam led the tour of the college’s Vertical Farming Centre and glasshouses, explaining how the facility allows them to control the environment in which the crops grow, meaning they can be produced cheaply, effectively and sustainably all year round with minimal space and soil.

The tour of the campus farm was led by Sam, who shared what his role as Dairy Herd Manager involves, other careers available in the industry, and how technology such as Reaseheath’s recently installed automatic robotic milking system and associated data hub is helping to increase efficiency in the sector.

Over the next few weeks, students will be working with other local organisations including Crewe Hall, ISG Construction, Cheshire College South and West, The Lyceum Theatre Group and JG Creative, to design their very own school menu, while also developing key skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and creativity.

Crewe and Nantwich Pledge Facilitator Katie Heirene at Cheshire and Warrington Pledge said: “Wistaston Academy School approached us about facilitating Year 6 work experience to help raise students’ aspirations and to show them what a world of opportunities awaits them.

“This exciting project not only raises students’ aspirations but shows students a wide range of career options available to them as they embark on their next chapter of education and helps them to start developing those soft skills that employers are looking for!”