The award-winning Mulgrave Estate in the North York Moors has hosted 25 students from the School of Natural and Environmental Science at Newcastle University

The students spent a fact-finding day on the 15,000-acre estate, focussing on the relationship between agriculture, conservation and environmental management.

The day was organised by the Mulgrave Estate, with support from leading UK property consultants Savills and Frontier Agriculture.

Robert Childerhouse, estate director, explained that the day had been a tremendous success, providing the students with some extremely valuable hands-on experience, while Simon Parker, lecturer at Newcastle University said that “this visit was outstanding due to the variety and level of engagement offered by the contributors”.

Robert said: “We also looked at current agricultural affairs, including reducing subsidies, the fertilizer and grain markets and rural funding in the future. If the students make their careers in the rural and agricultural sectors, which I expect many of them will, then these issues will be key.

“It was tremendous to be able to call upon the experience of experts from Savills and Frontier Agriculture, as well as our own staff. We were also delighted to be able to take the students to Wilks Farm at Lealholm, which is one of our largest tenanted farms where Jonathan Hutchinson gave a detailed tour of his 500-cow dairy.”

He added: “The feedback we received was extremely positive. It was a most worthwhile day, giving all the students an authentic insight into both estate management and the many challenges – and opportunities which face the rural community today.”

Meanwhile Simon Parker, associate director of Education at Newcastle University, specialising in agriculture, commented: “Our students were treated to an outstanding opportunity to discuss current issues with leading practitioners in the land management sectors. Every visit is interesting, this visit was outstanding due to the variety and level of engagement offered by the contributors.

“The host Robert Childerhouse and the visiting experts from Frontier and Savills were constantly engaged in discussion and debate with students, raising issues as diverse as the importance of environmental management and the security of the production.

“Students present represented a range of geographic origins, being from the UK, Malaysia, China, Lithuania and Dubai, creating opportunity for a diverse and engaging debate that has local, national and global importance.

“The students especially wished to pass their sincerest thanks to Robert for having organised such an exceptional visit, one which we very much hope to be able to revisit at some point future,” said Simon.

Andrew Wilkin of Frontier Agriculture added: “It was really rewarding to spend time with the students and staff from Newcastle University at Mulgrave Estates. The interaction and questions from the students made the day special and the students were able to gain a real insight into what a career might look like in agriculture.

“It was tremendous to see so many young people with an interest in the environment and agriculture and to show them an estate and dairy farm where farming is not only profitable but also in harmony with the environment. These days it is vital to attract the right people into the industry and to give practical experience to build on the students’ academic studies. It was my pleasure to give an insight into how Frontier works very closely with Mulgrave Estates”.