Two rising stars win BASC land-based sector awards

Kamran Flaxman receiving award

A raft of outstanding students studying land-based higher and further education courses were honoured at the Land-based and Environment Learner Awards (LBEL) last week.

BASC sponsored two categories at the inaugural awards ceremony, organised by LANTRA and Landex, and held at Reaseheath College near Nantwich. BASC’s sponsored awards were Apprentice of the Year and FE Learner of the Year, both of which fell within the gamekeeping, conservation and environment section.

FE Learner of the Year

Winner of FE Learner of the Year was Emily Rosa, 19 (pictured above), who is currently at the University of South Wales working towards a degree in natural history and media. Emily was presented with her award on the night for her achievements while studying wildlife ecology and conservation at Kingston Maurward College in Dorset.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted that my skills and achievements in land and wildlife management have been recognised. Having the opportunity to celebrate with my peers and demonstrate to the industry professionals in the audience that the future of the sector is good hands, has been invaluable.”

Kamran Flaxman receiving award
Kamron Flaxman, Land-based and Environment Learner Award winner for Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by BASC

Apprentice of the Year

Apprentice of the Year went to Kamron Flaxman, who is studying at Sparsholt College. He said: “I’m confident that undertaking my countryside worker apprenticeship has truly set me on my career path for the future. Winning this award has reinforced that I’m actually really good at what I do, and being celebrated by so many industry professionals has certainly given my confidence a boost.” 

Kamron, 22, is planning to continue his apprenticeship with Hoburne Bashley holiday park and woodland activity, aiming for a Level 3 apprenticeship in countryside management. “I love working with nature,” he said.

“We manage 30 acres of woodland in the New Forest, with wildflower corridors and rides. It’s a very good environment to work in and allows me to tackle lots of different disciplines. I am open-minded about a future career path. I am still young, and looking forward to learning more.”

Emily and Kamron were presented with their awards by BASC’s head of education and outreach Curtis Mossop. He said: “We are delighted that BASC could sponsor the LBEL Awards and the two winners of the environment, conservation, game and wildlife category are very deserving of the accolade. Their passion, resilience and hardworking have been rewarded.”

Rewarding emerging talent

The awards were launched in June by leading land-based training and qualification awarding body Lantra, and the representative body for land-based colleges and universities, Landex.

They were open to apprentices, and further education and higher education learners, working and studying in land-based and environmental sectors between September 2021 and September 2022.

The awards seek to celebrate and reward emerging talent in industries including agriculture and horticulture, forestry, environmental conservation, landscaping, and equine, among others.

The organisers received more than 120 nominations across 10 categories, which were judged by a panel of industry professionals, chaired by land-based business consultant John Moverley of JMM Solutions. He said: “To keep pace with the technological and environmental challenges we face in the land-based sector, it is crucial that the skills and knowledge of the current workforce are completed with a generation of forward thinking and enthusiastic new recruits.”

The judges praised Emily for her infectious energy and determination to push herself, while it was Kamron’s dedication and enthusiasm to make a difference that were singled out for praise.

The awards ceremony was attended by Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries, Mark Spencer MP, celebrity farmer Adam Henson, and more than 200 guests.

Mr Henson said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to host the very first Land-based and Environment Learner Awards. In my various roles, I’m lucky enough to encounter some amazing young people who are passionate about their jobs and are a complete inspiration. Tonight was no exception. The level of enthusiasm, professionalism and passion, blew me away – a big well done to everyone.”