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What's On, Education, Colleges

Common Leys Comes Alive

Abingdon and Witney College

CL Country Fair 1

Abingdon and Witney College’s Common Leys Farm Campus is set in over 60 acres of rolling countryside just north of Witney.  The campus runs specialised courses focusing on land-based industries for students aged 16-18, adults and those on Higher education programmes. 

The programmes include agriculture, forestry, countryside management, horticulture, floristry, animal management and horse management.  Higher education courses in Animal and Equine are run in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.  Professional courses florestry, dog grooming and canine hydrotherapy are also offered.

The campus boasts a wide variety of farm animals and has focussed on trying to breed and increase the range of rare breeds: on site are Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs, Whitebred shorthorn Cattle and Norfolk Horn Sheep. The unit is also home to a variety of reptiles, aquatics, avians, poultry, donkeys, alpacas, goats and meerkats to name a few!

The animal unit also boasts a new canine Hydrotherapy Centre which contains a canine water treadmill and swimming pool used for canine therapy and rehabilitation. Students are using the specialist equipment to conduct research and this will be run as a commercial venture in the future.

The College is unique in the fact that it has an on-site Thoroughbred stud, Equine students are involved in the covering, foaling, weaning and selling of the foals which involves taking them to Tattersall’s sales in Newmarket.

Students are also able to develop their estate skills, and undertake courses that include fencing, tree-planting, hedge maintenance, paddock maintenance, arboriculture skills, landscaping, establishing and maintaining plants, dry stone walling, hedge laying and  green woodcrafts.

The College holds many open days and evenings throughout the year where you can find out more about the courses on offer. After two years of Covid, Sunday 13th June, sees the return of the Countryside Fair, which this year it’s linked to Open Farm Sunday. This is a fun day out for all the family and you will be able to watch demonstrations, meet the animals and see student displays.

To find out more visit the website:


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Mon 20 May 2024

Director-choreographer Arthur Pita reunites with dance virtuoso Edward Watson and composer-musician extraordinaire Frank Moon, this time welcoming the renowned rebel chanteuse Meow Meow for a new adaptation and world premiere of Franz Kafka’s A Hunger Artist at the Old Fire Station, Oxford.  The show has a limited run from 3 to 5 June.

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Mon 20 May 2024

A new exhibition at Hughenden Manor has opened which explores how Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli carefully curated his own image and used Hughenden as stage and backdrop for creating his own legend.

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Thu 16 May 2024

Experience the transformative energy of Thame's Psychic & Wellbeing Fair -a haven for those seeking spiritual guidance, holistic healing, and unique gifts.

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Thu 16 May 2024

Visitors to University Parks this Spring should be persuaded not to apply more insect repellent as a gigantic half-man half-insect lands from 31 May – 2 June.