Posted on 26 May 2017
Arboriculture students from Merrist Wood College recently hosted and won the Arboricultural Association Arborist Tree Challenge (3ATC) Southern College Climbing Competition, sponsored by arborist suppliers, Gustharts.
The event welcomed first and second year students from colleges across the south of England, with each team consisting of three climbers and one reserve. This year Merrist Wood College entered a team of first and second year Arboriculture students to compete for the top prize of a well-stocked goody bag for each climber, worth approximately £200, and a £250 Gustharts voucher for the College.
Each of the students faced the challenge of a tree with four different stations, beginning at the top of the tree at the sound of the starting horn, working their way down the tree and completing an action at each station. Each student’s climb was timed, then judges issued time penalties and bonuses based on their performance, giving them their final time. The College’s second year students were the first to climb and achieved the fastest collective time of the day, winning first place for the College.
Second year student, Ian Sillett, put in the best time of the day and set a very high standard for the rest of the competitors. Ian completed the climb in an impressive 3 minutes and 28 seconds, received no time penalties and achieved a 2 minutes and 30 seconds bonus, which was deducted from his climb time and took his final time to a total of 58 seconds. Owen Ross and Georgia Durrant, who was the only female climber of the day, followed with two smooth climbs and brought the team’s collective time to a very competitive 11 minutes.
First year students Zeph Palmer, Ollie Cane and Jack Hall were the second team to climb, and each achieved a good time, however they were unfortunately pushed into third place by the other colleges.
Arboriculture Tutor, Tom Peacock, said: “I’m really proud of both teams. Our second year students thoroughly deserved to win and our first year students should feel proud to have completed each task, having never done anything like this before. It is yet another great achievement for the College’s Arboriculture Department.”
Merrist Wood College is one of the country’s leading providers of training and education, preparing student with the necessary skills for work in the arboriculture and forestry industry. For more information regarding our Arboriculture courses, click here.