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: www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk