Canterbury College - Spring Lane
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Spring Lane

Our Spring Lane campus is a beautiful site where you can build confidence, learn skills and prepare for a career in animal management, conservation and horticulture.

The extensive grounds at our Spring Lane site allow students to develop a wide range of skills including how to grow fresh produce for animals and maintain wildlife areas. This purpose-built site is in a beautiful setting which provides a calm, safe, nurturing and supportive environment.

Our small team of experienced staff come from a wide range of industry backgrounds including zoo keeping, rearing and flying birds of prey and veterinary nursing. The size of the campus and our additional learning support and student support teams allows students to feel welcome, gain confidence and grow as individuals.

Spring Lane at Canterbury College has a brand new look! Click here to discover the site's new brand.

New Apprenticeships

We are proud to be offering exciting new countryside and land-based apprenticeships at our Spring Lane campus.

Developing Green Skills

Find out how we plan to meet emerging demand for specialist green skills through education and training.

Spring Lane to Fast Lane

From Spring Lane to the fast lane, find out what Level 3 Animal Management alumna Millie is doing now.

Site Facilities

Spring Lane is a specialist land-based campus set over 2 hectares with wide ranging facilities including:

  • a large animal management centre;
  • a heated and fully furnished glass house;
  • various polytunnels;
  • a mature orchard;
  • wildlife areas and ponds;
  • student common room;
  • football pitch;
  • learning resource centre.

Home to more than 500 animals and over 2,000 invertebrates, with extensive grounds for conservation and land management education, the Spring Lane site offers East Kent residents the unique opportunity to learn from experienced industry professionals.

£64,000 of investment in facilities and upgrades included health and safety upgrades, the installation of a new boiler in the glass house and installation of Wi-Fi in the animal unit and in the glass house to increase students' ability to use technology in the practical areas of the site.

 The College has also subscribed to the industry-standard Zoo Industry Management System (ZIMS) to ensure that students have access to the most up-to-date resources, which will enhance their employment opportunities in the future.

The glasshouse now boasts a brand new boiler in preparation for the implementation of a revamped horticulture curriculum offer to support the needs of local businesses as well as supporting local people who wish to re-train in a land-based career.

As part of the strategic plan EKC group is looking to establish Spring Lane as the catalyst for the development of a land-based / food skills provision for East Kent, based on strong partnerships with key employers and partners.

These partnerships are key because as well as working with the college facilities all students on land-based courses must undertake industry placement as part of their course.

“We work exclusively with the Spring Lane campus when providing work experience placements with our animal collection because we know that the students who go there have a real passion for land based learning. Students studying animal related courses understand this and seeing them grow their passion for wildlife while spending time with us is part of the reason why enjoy having them come out to us and increase their knowledge base but also get some all-important hands on experience. You can spend years at a desk studying the biology and behaviour of animals, but without getting your hands dirty and getting that experience, you’ll never be truly prepared for what is very enjoyable, but also very hard work. Students are able to get that all important experience with us and we are able to help bring on the next generation of conservationists and zoo keepers, which is an absolute pleasure and honour to be a part of – We’ve even gained some valuable members of staff as a direct result of these placements!” - Marcus Wilder at Wingham Wildlife Park.

Level 3 students are required to complete 315 hours of industry placement over the two years of their course and the College is always looking for businesses to work with to ensure that this requirement can be met.

If you would like to find out more about how you can provide unique and valuable industry placements to the next generation of animal and land-based specialists please contact us today:

Canterbury College is leading the green skills revolution in East Kent.

Around half of all UK employees are likely to experience job transformation in the coming years as we transition to a green economy, according to the recently published, ‘Going Green’ report by pioneering innovation charity, Nesta. 

Nesta predicts that the green revolution will provide fantastic employment opportunities for those with the specialist and technical expertise coveted by sustainable enterprises. 

Conservation, horticulture, animal and land management skills are essential as we rebuild our economy, safeguard our environment and prepare for the future.

To help meet the emerging demand for specialist green skills, we have invested more than £64,000 in upgrading our new Spring Lane site with further investment planned to offer cutting-edge education and training in animal, horticulture and land-based subjects.

Explore our courses

Discover our range of animal and land-based courses and apply today