SPARSHOLT College agriculture students are celebrating following their triumph at Natural England’s Catchment Sensitive Farming competition.

The inter-college event, held at Woodlands Farm Trust, a 89-acre working farm in London, saw a number of the South-East’s largest land-based colleges compete for the honours.

Catchment Sensitive Farming is a joint project between Natural England, the Environment Agency and Defra.

The project aims to reduce diffuse water pollution from agriculture and was the theme of the challenge set for all the students from Chicester, Hadlow, Plumpton, Sparsholt and Writtle.

For the first round, 23 of Sparsholt’s second year extended diploma course visited a farm local to the college.

Their brief was to assess the infrastructure and farming practices in the context of ‘diffuse water pollution from agriculture’ – Catchment Sensitive Farming’s main purpose. In groups, they produced a farm plan based on the findings of this visit.

From this initial round a winning team of three, judged to have produced the most keenly observed, innovative and constructively critical report, was selected to represent Sparsholt.

Sparsholt’s David Casebow, Oliver Hayter and Edward Hildred were unanimously voted the winners.

Charlotte Elliott, Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer, Arun and Western Rother said: “The three young men from Sparsholt College gave a very professional presentation and were a credit to the College.”

Catchment Sensitive Farming works with the farming community to tackle environmental challenges.