A group of students from Preston’s Myerscough College have just returned from a work experience trip of a lifetime in South Africa.
Staff and students spent three weeks at the Shamwari Game Reserve, near Port Elizabeth, on the Eastern Cape of the country, for what has now become an annual trip.
They were involved a busy and varied programme of activities including monitoring wildlife such as predators, elephants and rhinos.
Students also visited an animal rehabilitation centre and had a chance to take part in some key conservation activities like road maintenance, pine tree chopping, and alien vegetation control, an essential part of the maintenance.
The group also spent time in the community, including delivering an art experience with a conservation theme at a school in nearby Alicedale.
As part of the trip, the Bilsborrow college traditionally takes a large donation of goods to be used by the local community.
This year they took with them 12 extra suitcases packed with equipment and clothes, as well as handing over a cash donation of 17,000 South African Rand, about £900, which was collected through fund-raising activities ahead of the trip.
Tutor Louise Bell, who organises the trip, said: “This is the fifth time we’ve been on this trip and it was hugely successful once again.
“The students worked within a well-established project and while they are there discovered new life skills and experienced things they couldn’t do anywhere else in the world.
“It was a great experience for everyone in the group.”
A spokesman for the Shamwari Conservation Experience said: “We are speechless and overwhelmed by the generosity to our community projects. A massive thank you from us all.’’
The spokesman added: “A huge thanks to the Myerscough students and staff for their incredible commitment to the experience.
“We couldn’t do this excellent work without them and hope that they will soon be back to see what they have made possible.
“We hope you have had an amazing time and hope to see Myerscough back again next year.”