Radio spotlight falls on reedcutters

THE next generation of Norfolk reedcutters are set to become radio stars on the Farming Today programme over the course of 2009.Five trainees on the Broads Authority reedcutting course will appear on the BBC Radio 4 flagship show on January 2 in the first instalment of a year-long series of features on their efforts to learn the traditional agricultural art.

THE next generation of Norfolk reedcutters are set to become radio stars on the Farming Today programme over the course of 2009.

Five trainees on the Broads Authority reedcutting course will appear on the BBC Radio 4 flagship show on January 2 in the first instalment of a year-long series of features on their efforts to learn the traditional agricultural art.

In September the trainees, including mother-of-four Kathryn Ingham, from Little Plumstead, started their 18-month reed and sedge-cutting course, which involve hands-on lessons and tutorials at Easton College, near Norwich.

On Wednesday, Farming Today visited the students as they worked on Haddiscoe Island to record interviews and see them in action. The BBC also asked the five junior reedcutters about their course so far, which has covered environmental management, health and safety and boat-handling classes.


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Training officer Sarah Heaffey said: “The students are very excited to have so much media interest. I think appearing on Farming Today will raise the profile of the traditional art of reedcutting and show how finely balanced managing the landscape is.”

Farming Today will visit the trainees every three months for a radio update, which should include their NVQ environmental conservation course.

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The other trainees are Tom Colley and Graeme Hewitt, both of Ludham; Tom Bennett, from Tunstead and James Allchurch, from Ormesby.

Their course is being funded with part of a £700,000 Heritage Lottery grant to the Broads Authority to help preserve traditional techniques.

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