From the Forces to the fields of Devon

  • HighGround helps military personnel transition into rural sector
  • Courses starting at Bicton College in March
  • Military and rural background of College perfect setting for course

(Bicton, Devon: 28/02/17): A charity that helps current and former military personnel transition from the Forces to employment in the rural sector has announced a new programme in Devon.

HighGround will be delivering Rural Weeks at Bicton College for the first time, starting in March, followed by a further three Rural Weeks in spring.

Rural Weeks have been developed to support serving personnel and veterans of all ranks and ages seeking advice and support about careers in the land-based sector.

Following two successful pilot Rural Weeks at Plumpton College in autumn 2014, followed by nine more during 2015 and 2016, the Charity is moving the programme to Bicton College in Devon.

Anna Baker Cresswell HighGround’s Founder said the charity “is delighted to be spreading our wings to another Landex college thanks to an introduction to Bicton from the Worshipful Company of Farmers”.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming more HighGrounders from all over the UK in 2017 to experience our Rural Weeks which will give them an overview of the land-based sector, how their military skills and experience map so perfectly into it, what training and qualifications they will need and how to access them.”

Bicton College already has military cadets and the rural county of Devon has a rich military heritage with the Royal Marines based at Lympstone, close to the College, she added.

During the five day, fully residential programme, the eight delegates will experience the full breadth of the land-based sector which includes agriculture, horticulture, forestry and arboriculture, environmental conservation and game keeping, agricultural engineering and plant operation, animal care and veterinary nursing, outdoor sports and leisure and food and drink manufacturing.

In addition, there will be workshops on making the most of the transferable skills gained in the military and becoming self-employed. Guest speakers who have already made a successful transition from the Armed Forces into careers in the land-based sector will join the delegates in evening talks.

Phil Le Grice, Principal at Bicton College added “The College is very proud to support HighGround in the delivery of the programme. It will be hugely exciting to welcome both serving personnel and veterans to experience careers across the Rural Economy and help them with securing future employment. Providing them with a greater insight into the very wide range of job opportunities will be very rewarding to us all.”

An autumn programme will be announced at a later date dependant on fundraising.


For more information, please contact Anna on 07951 495 272

Our referral partners include Career Transition Partnership, Walking with the Wounded, Help4Heroes, RFEA, the Officers Association and Combat Stress.


To find out more about the range of courses available at Bicton College visit or call 0845 60 50 455.

Notes for editors:

Bicton College is a leading land-based college offering FE and HE qualifications up to Foundation Degree level. Set within an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of Devon, the College is praised by Inspectors for offering quality ‘teaching, learning and assessment outcomes’ and has an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ (2012).

Playing a vital role in the provision of land based teaching, Bicton College offers its students a diverse range of courses in the arts, agriculture, science, physical education, engineering, horticulture and more.

  • Bicton College graduates enjoy excellent career prospects
  • Bicton College graduates have the skills required to meet the complex demands of the modern working world
  • Bicton College: for people who do

HighGround is a registered charity whose mission is To help provide, create and support land-based opportunities for ex military personnel.

Based in Westminster, the Charity is tri-service and works with serving personnel and veterans all over the UK by providing advice about jobs, careers and vocational opportunities. Rural Weeks are an important element of this service.

HighGround currently receives no statutory funding and relies entirely on grant-making trust and foundation and public donation for its income.

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