Bicton college receives grant

Bicton College receives grant to save energy at Home Farm

14 April

Bicton College, the premier College of the Land and Environment,
has received up to £5,000 funding from the Rural Development
Programme for England. The funding for the installation of a Heat
Recovery Unit and Variable Speed Vacuum Pump in the dairy on its
166 hectare farm, greatly reducing energy use as part of Bicton’s
Sustainable College Campus policy.

The Heat Recovery Unit captures heat given off from the milk
refrigeration plant, re-using it to heat water in the dairy and the
Variable Speed Vacuum Pump speeds up or slows down depending on
demand, replacing a pump that always runs at full speed.

Bicton College’s Home Farm will save more than 60 kwh per day
and over £2000 per year in electricity costs with the installation
of both systems. Farm Manager Paul Redmore says, “We are always
looking to reduce our electricity costs, find new ways to make Home
Farm more efficient and demonstrate sustainable farming of the
future to students. The energy we are saving with the two new
systems will pay us back in about six years.”

David Henley, Principal of Bicton College says, “At Bicton
College we are committed to minimising our environmental impact and
are developing an ethos of environmental responsibility in our
staff and students. In conjunction with Bicton EaRTH, our new
centre of excellence for renewable technology training and
education, we are working hard to become a sustainable

Ian Hague, RDPE Delivery Manager said: “It is wonderful that the
RDPE funding will help this forward thinking educational
establishment to become more energy efficient and sustainable. This
is a good message to be teaching the next generation of rural
representatives, to ensure that the South West to continue to
strive for affordable and more sustainable methods of farming for
the future.” 

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) aims to
support the creation of genuinely sustainable farming, forestry and
food sectors, whilst also bringing wider benefits for the economy,
the environment and rural communities. RDPE is funded jointly by
the EU and Defra.

Bicton EaRTH is running one-day Micro Certification Scheme
Accreditation Courses from April 2011 and a host of environmental
sustainability courses throughout the year. For more details about
EaRTH courses information visit For
details about courses at Bicton College including diploma’s,
apprenticeships and foundation degree’s in Agriculture visit