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Date: 26th June 2018

Visitors to York's Bloom! Festival with a sense of adventure can put their tree climbing skills to the test as part of next month's celebration of all things horticultural.

Askham Bryan College has been invited to take part in the festival by organisers, MakeItYork, and will be offering visitors the chance to try their hands at being an arborist and then, with feet firmly on the ground, there's the opportunity to check out leaves, bugs and bark from their climb under the microscopes.

The festival runs from 5 – 8 July and includes trails, demonstrations, exhibitions, open gardens and a flower show. It is supported by York Bid.

The tree climbing will be led and supervised by the college's Head of Horticulture, Jess Herbert who has represented the UK in the World and European Tree Climbing Championships and is the reigning Welsh Champion.

She explained: “Tree climbing isn't just something children do for fun, and whilst it's exciting, it's a vital part of managing our woodlands and an integral part of our forestry and arboriculture courses. Science underpins all our teaching and so students have to be able to collect samples of pests and foliage to assess the tree's condition.

“I've been tree climbing for many years, and I still get a buzz out of it, so I'd encourage anyone to come along and try it out. All that's needed are sensible shoes; we provide the harness, gloves and helmets as well as the expertise, and it doesn't matter whether you get one or 30 metres from the ground, it's a great experience.” said Jess.  It takes place at the front of York St John University; near the entrance on Lord Mayor's Walk; it is free, equipment is provided and it is open to everyone from age six upwards.

As well as tree climbing, at the festival Askham Bryan College will be:

• running workshops to demonstration how to plant trees correctly
• floristry students and staff will be based at York Railway Station and are inviting visitors to get ahead with a hat ie trying out hats decorated with everything from fresh flowers to twigs – and then take a selfie. Visitors can try their hand at making button holes, also friendship bracelets and floral bangles all using fresh flowers.
• selling flowers and plants grown in the College gardens in the Shambles Flower Market

Askham Bryan College is a specialist land-based college near York with a wide range of full and part-time courses in horticulture, floristry and arboriculture. The campus is fully landscaped and has its own arboretum, an acre of glasshouses, a temperate house, 3-hole on-site golf course and an extensive range of plant species all of which are an integral part of student studies. It is also planned to run day courses across a variety of horticultural subjects.

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277