Louis Hudson, aged 18 from Seghill, who studies at Northumberland College has taken first place in the national Arboricultural Association Arborists’ Tree Challenge.
The competition takes place every year at the Arb Show. This year’s show was located at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire.
The competition sees students from across the UK test their mettle over three different skill categories; novice, expert and premier.
Louis, who is studying in the second year of a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Arboriculture at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus, won the Expert category.
Challengers compete against the clock to achieve commercial speeds and are judged on industry good practice, accruing penalty points for any faults such as hanging branches that might pose a risk to health and safety.
Simon Hales, Course Team Leader at Northumberland College, said: “Louis has demonstrated high standards in all areas of the Level 3 arboriculture course.
“He has excelled in aerial tree operations and has previously entered two student climbing competitions and done well, but to come first nationally confirms the high level of skill he has achieved.
Louis, said: “I had a great time at the Arb Show as it was a good test of my skills. I would like to thank my tutors Nick, Michael and Simon for teaching me how to work confidently and safely, and I hope to go back to the show next year.”
Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus, located in Ponteland, has extensive gardens and woodland and is home to the National Fagus (beech tree) collection. Hundreds of courses include arboriculture, horticulture and floristry.
To find out more about courses at the college visit: www.northumberland.ac.uk