Posted: 22/10/2011 13:57:00 by Nigel Nixon

STUDENTS from around the globe are making Ambleside their home after enrolling on the University of Cumbria’s first ever international course.

Outdoor enthusiasts from countries including China, Australia and Germany are among the 17 students spending the Autumn term in the Lake District as part of their masters in Transcultural European Outdoor Studies.

The qualification is the first of its kind and is being run by the university, Germany’s University of Marburg and Norway’s School of Sport Sciences.

Course leader Dr. Christopher Loynes said: “Within this time frame, our ambition is to make the course a coveted choice for people interested in pursuing a career in the outdoor field. We also aim to develop tight links with non-European universities and make the course truly global. Eventually, we plan to make the course financially self-sustaining through the charging of student fees.”

The course will be funded by the European Commission for the next five years and once students have left Ambleside in the New Year they will spend their next two terms at the other institutions.

While some of the students area already experienced in outdoor studies, for many this is a new area of knowledge and expertise.

Katerina Pata from Greece, who previously studied to be a pre-school teacher, said:“I couldn’t find a relevant masters course in Greece and applied for courses elsewhere in Europe. I liked this course because I get a chance to go to three different countries and learn various approaches to the subject. My goal is to make the concept of outdoor learning more prominent in my country and create my own outdoor kindergarten.”

However, others come to the course with a lot of experience like Wilson Wai Yin Cheung who is a former president of the mountaineering association of Hong Kong.

The students, who come from 15 countries, will be living in university accommodation in Ambleside and learning the theoretical knowledge and practical qualifications necessary to be successful outdoor industry professionals.

During their first semester they will undertake two week-long hiking expeditions, one in the Scottish Highlands and one in the Lake District and a week-long canoeing trip.

Tagged with: university, world, ambleside


Posted: 07/10/2011 09:41:20 by Nigel Nixon

POTENTIALLY deadly blue-green algae has been found on Windermere.

The Environment Agency says it has found evidence of an algal bloom at Low Wray Bay, prompting South Lakeland District Council to issue a warning.

The authority said anyone using lakes, rivers and reservoirs should treat all blue-green algae blooms with caution and contact should be avoided as skin rashes and illness may occur if the water is swallowed.

Farmers and pet owners should also prevent livestock and animals coming into contact or drinking the affected water, as it can sometimes prove fatal for animals.

SLDC’s environmental health team leader, Tracy Howard, said: “Blue-green algae can potentially make people feel quite ill if swallowed or even by just swimming in it.

"We just want people to be aware of the affects and are asking people to be extra careful and vigilant when using the lakes and rivers for recreational purposes during the summer months.

"The public should observe any notices near affected areas and avoid contact or drinking the water.”

Many waters are vulnerable to problems with the algae, typically between June and November.

Experts say all blue-green algal blooms should be assumed to be toxic.

The blooms vary in colour from discoloured green, blue-green, greenish brown, or reddish brown.

Further information about blue-green algae can be found on the Environment Agency’s website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Tagged with: windermere, algae


Posted: 06/04/2011 16:22:34 by Anne-Marie O'Neill

GARDENERS’ World presenter Carol Klein has been confirmed as the special guest at The Holker Garden Festival June 3 and 5.



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