A COLLEGE’S dedicated equine team has moved on campus to care for its horses and ponies during lockdown.

Northumberland College’s equine resource manager John Tilley and groom technician Leanne Rowe have been self-isolating full-time at the Kirkley Hall campus to ensure they can carry out daily checks, administer medication, change rugs and clean paddocks to maintain a high level of care for the animals.

Zookeepers at the college’s zoo have also left their families to move in with the animals during lockdown.

The duo have been joined at weekends by instructor and yard staff member Amy Pickering who is also working through the week from home to help produce learning resources for the college’s equine students who continue to study remotely.

John said: “We have been living on site for the past three weeks to ensure the welfare of the horses and ponies.

“We have developed care plans and daily routines, giving them makeovers and keeping on top of any ailments they may have.

“The horses are living out on grass so we have been able to clean all areas of the equine unit including harrowing and rolling their paddocks.”

John and Leanne are also caring for Kirkley Hall Zoo’s Shetland Ponies during the lockdown while their enclosure is being revamped while also carrying out general maintenance.

The college’s Kirkley Hall campus is currently undergoing a major redevelopment which will see the construction of a state-of-the-art equine centre of excellence.

The development will also include a new indoor arena with viewing gallery and an education hub to develop equine management skills such as farriery, animal dentistry and physiotherapy and improvements to existing facilities.

For more information about Northumberland College and its range of courses, ring 01670 841 200.