Bicton Earth - Principal lays last turf @BictonCollege
19th December 2011
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A significant milestone in the building of the EaRTH project was celebrated on Friday 16th December at Bicton College.

The unusual Topping Out ceremony saw Bicton Principal David Henley laying a sedum mat some 5m above the ground over the stylish curved entrance of EaRTH, the college’s exciting new Environmental and Renewable Technologies Hub.

The vegetative mat for the roof has been sourced from Blackdown Greenroofs of Chard and is a mix of hardy succulent plants and wildflowers designed as an ecological protection layer to reduce storm water, lower carbon emissions and provide a minimal maintenance, drought resistant jacket.

Building work is well on track and due to be completed by the end of January 2012. An Open Day is planned in February inviting schools, businesses and local community groups to visit EaRTH and find out how they can benefit by working with the College.

Graham Waddell, Section Leader Environment & Sustainability and Head of the EaRTH Programme at Bicton, said ‘Given our region’s leading position in the UK’s low carbon industries, the imminent launch of EaRTH is a real shot in the arm for specialist training provision in sustainable energy, construction and environmental technologies for businesses and young people in the South West.’

Bicton College Principal David Henley adds, ‘Bicton is at the forefront of delivering high quality land-based education provision and EaRTH will further integrate our expertise in energy and the environment for the benefit of our learners. Having already delivered very successful solar training courses to trade professionals, we will be launching our full training programme for businesses and schools from February 2012. The interest in EaRTH has been immense.”

Bicton EaRTH will provide high quality training for businesses and communities across the South West in renewable energy technologies and environmental education. It is a local facility supporting commercial and educational development in the growing low carbon sector. EaRTH also offers unique conferencing and interpretation facilities to host events, seminars and education days for local businesses, schools and community groups. It is already being recognised as a centre of excellence and a local resource for impartial information and development support. 

By renovating old stable blocks, the BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) “very good” rated, EaRTH project demonstrates best practice in sustainable building refurbishment techniques whilst applying leading renewable technologies and building management services to create a unique and fully functioning regional demonstration centre of excellence.

Courses in Photo Voltaic Panel, Solar Thermal Hot Water Installation and Micro Certification Scheme Accreditation are held on a regular basis. For more details visit

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