Merrist Wood College based in Surrey has a huge history behind it including, in 1939 when Merrist Wood was bought by Surrey County Council under the compulsory purchase order to convert Merrist Wood House into a mental health institution.
In 1943 the Government committee recommended that every county should have its own Farm Institute to train people for careers – the land at Merrist Wood was selected as Surrey’s. It was in 1945 when they started to offer educational courses based on agriculture and horticulture.
Today the college offers a wide choice of courses for its students, such as Animal Management, Floristry, Garden Design, Landscaping, equine management and tree rigging.
At the end of 2018, SureSet were contacted by Stephen Ensell, Head orgainser of the BALI GO Landscape scheme which aims to provide young people with career advise as well as inspiring and knowledgeable educational presentations by reputable businesses. Keen to learn more was Tony Begg Head Tutor of the Landscape Construction Department at Merrist Wood College. Tony was interested in a CPD presentation but requested a demonstration for the students to see how resin bound paving is used and installed.
Once the date was set, 1st May 2019 the Installation Team, Sale Manager and Marketing Assistant all headed to the college to show the students how to lay resin bound paving and answer any questions.
In total there were 40 construction students who attended our demonstration. The morning plan consisted of a presentation and a practical side. At first the students were a little hesitant to get involved, but once one brave student got involved and had a go at floating on our DIY table the rest of the students followed, which as you can see from the image they had a brilliant time doing so.
Tony their Tutor was thrilled and had this to say about our presentation and demonstration:
“Thank you, Alasdair, Mikey and James for the SureSet demonstration and presentation on permeable paving held at Merrist Wood Landscape Workshop last week on 01 May.
The event was well attended by our students and some staff and it played a good part to inspiring
young people in landscaping. Alastair McMillan and your team highlighted the ways that products
and materials like SureSet can lead to social improvement, economic impact and environmental
advantages within our industry. Our students gave very good feedback to us over the last week.
It was a pleasure to show you round the Animal Care Unit with Luke and his team which also went well.”
After the demonstration was completed, we had spent a little time with the students to see if they did have any questions regarding the presentation. A lot of the students were still very engaged at this point with plenty of questions about resin bound, which was lovely to hear, overall their main interest was in the process of preparing the resin and mixing with the aggregate to create a fully bound system that’s laid on a surface.
Once the presentation had finished Tony wanted to give us a tour of their amazing facilities – there was no way we could say no, especially when one of our team members used to be a zookeeper, Alasdair Head of Sales at SureSet, was in his element.
We were led around the Animal Care Unit where we meet a variety of animals for students to look after- birds, snakes, frogs, meerkats, horses and so much more. It was an amazing afternoon and a real treat. We were very grateful that Tony and the team took time out to show us around and make us feel welcome in their college.
We are hoping to do more presentations at the college in the future, its wonderful to meet so many young potential builders, landscapers and gardeners of the future and educate them on resin bound paving.