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Hands-on herd
husbandry helps Hannah’s honours hopes

by Rod Kebble

Hannah Grist, 21, spent last week at Pierrepont Farm on a work placement as part of her two-year course at Merrist Wood College for a BSc (Hons) degree in Animal Behaviour & Welfare. Hannah has already completed a foundation degree.

Hannah on her work placement at the Countryside Restoration Trust's Pierrepont Farm.

Hannah on her week's work placement at Pierrepont Farm.

Students are required to do 200 hours of placement each year and the week at the farm accounted for 40 of them. Next year, Hannah and other students will do all the placement hours in one fell swoop by spending five weeks in Madagascar, where they will encounter animals not found at Pierrepont — nor anywhere else on the planet, in many cases — and carry out research and conservation projects.

Hannah is no stranger to exotic wildlife; in 2010 she went on a work placement for an earlier qualification at the 24,000 hectare Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa, about 50 miles north-east of Port Elizabeth. There she saw cheetah, elephant, impala, leopard, lion and zebra, amongst others. Like the forthcoming trip to Madagascar, Hannah’s trip to Shamwari was organised through Worldwide Experience.

Although one of Hannah’s grandmothers grew up on a farm, she has no other agricultural connections but is striking out on a career entirely of her own choice and we wish her the very best of luck. Her ambition is to become a rescue behaviourist, working with animals in need of help adjusting to (or recovering from) their experiences.

Hannah with Adele and her calf at the Countryside Restoration Trust's Pierrepont Farm.

Hannah with Adele (who hasn't learned to keep still when being photographed) and her calf aged about 12 hours old, tentatively named Amber.