Students ready to embrace park life?

LANGSIDE college is in talks with Glasgow city council over improving its provision of land-based industry courses — despite having its core funding slashed.

Realising that practical education in land services was on its doorstep in the form of Queen’s Park, college bosses are hoping to outline a proposal that will see students working with council staff “at ground level”.

The college says that much of the work accomplished by the council’s park staff fits well, in a practical way, with the theory taught in the classroom.

And, if they can work out a deal with the council, they hope that students can do their non-class work in the park.

Glasgow has a well-earned nickname as the Dear, Green Place due to its 90 parks not least of which is Queen’s Park.

Situated on land acquired in 1857 and laid out by famous gardener and architect Sir Joseph Paxton, the park covers 60 hectares and offers a wide range of horticultural amenities which have a direct bearing on the students’ education.

Graeme Hyslop OBE, principal of Langside college, said: “We are extremely excited by the opportunities afforded by this proposed partnership with Glasgow city council.

“This will provide our land-based students with the knowledge and skills sought and valued by employers.

“The enhanced workplace element is a model of best practice and we will seek to embed this methodology for the benefit of our learners, employers and the local economy.

“We are also investigating the possibility of extending this model to access the additional funding available to colleges through Skills Development Scotland”.

Executive director for Land and Environmental Services Brian Devlin said: “Glasgow is rightly proud of its parks and, as a council, we want to make sure our communities are able to make the best use of them.

“Working in partnership with Langside college will benefit not only their students, who will gain vital work experience, but will also ensure there is a new generation equipped with the skills to preserve traditional parkland standards and promote horticultural excellence — which will, ultimately, enhance the city’s valued green spaces”.