East Durham College Arboriculture student Luke Towler with his poleclimbing trophies

Tree Surgeon Students Scale New Heights

A group of north east student tree surgeons have returned triumphant after competing in a recent national pole climbing competition in Wales.

The students, studying courses in arboriculture, who attend East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, in Durham, travelled with college staff to Caerwys in North Wales to take part in the AUS Pole climbing championship at Woodfest.

The annual three-day event showcases the World of Wood in a number of interactive activities. It’s famous for competitive axe racing, sawing and tree-climbing events in one of the largest timber sports arenas in the UK, attracting the world's top lumberjack athletes.

The poleclimbing event saw the students aim to climb to the top of an 80 ft. pole in the quickest time possible.

Student Luke Towler, who was only competing in the novice category event at the Highland Show the week before, came first in the expert category in Wales - with a time off 11.634 seconds.

He was closely followed in second place by another East Durham College student, Ben Lightfoot with a time of 11.677 seconds, with a former Houghall student Josh Dixon rounding off the top three places with a time of 11.873 seconds.

Arboriculture lecturer Peter Boulton praised the performances of all the students and was proud to come home with the top placings.

Peter said: “It was a fantastic weekend at Woodfest, with loads going on for the students to take in and be a part of.

“We had some great performance in the contests across the weekend and it was a really proud moment to see two of our students and an ex-student come away with the top three places in the expert category in the poleclimbing.

“It was certainly a brilliant performance from Luke who has only been competing at these competitions for about a month. It was a great time he set and was a brilliant challenge for the other competitors to have a go at beating.”

For more information on courses in Arboriculture at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus call our student services team on 0191 375 4710.